NRI Real Estate and Property Investment in India
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NRI Investment Issues

1) Are NRIs allowed to invest in India?
Yes, NRIs can invest in all avenues open to resident Indians. Persons of Indian origin are restricted to investment in non-agricultural businesses in the country.

2) Are NRIs allowed to invest in shares and stocks in India?
Yes, either
a) Directly by subscribing to shares and debentures of Indian companies on a repatriable or non-repatriable basis, or
b) Through the Portfolio Investment Scheme, or
c) In government securities, certificates and units of UTI through remittances from their domestic accounts or remittances from abroad.

3) Can NRIs establish a company or run a business in India?
Yes.

4) Are NRIs allowed to sell the stocks and bonds they hold?
NRIs can sell the stocks and shares they hold to resident individuals or though the stock exchange. Securities can also be gifted by NRIs

5) Can NRIs repatriate the earnings from designated non-repatriable income?
Income earned on NRI deposits and investments from 1994-95 can be repatriated, subject to certain limits

6) What is the procedure to be followed for repatriating income from non-repatriable assets in India?
An application to a designated branch of an authorised dealer in Form RCI has to be submitted along with a certificate from a Chartered Accountant. The dealer would then credit the amount repatriable, after due deduction of tax, to the applicant’s NRE/FCNR account.

7) What are the 24% and 40% Schemes?
The 24% Scheme allows Indian companies, except those engaged in agricultural activities, to issue up to 24% of their shares and debentures to NRIs with repatriation benefits.

Similarly, the 40% scheme allows for purchase of equity, preference shares and convertible debentures not exceeding 51% of the face value of each  issue. Repatriation of upto 40% of the new issue is allowed. . Under this scheme, NRIs can invest in new projects or in expansion and diversification projects of existing companies.

8) What repatriation benefits are available to NRIs if they invest in Priority Industries?

NRIs are allowed 100% repatriation if they invest in Indian companies engaged in priority industries and those involved in export and trading activity. No prior approval of the RBI is required, but Form ISD is to be submitted along with other documents to the bank's regional office.

9) Are NRIs allowed to invest in companies dealing in real estate?

Yes, upto 100% of the new issue of Indian companies engaged in construction, real estate development and funding of housing development.

10) Are NRIs permitted investment in the aviation sector?

Yes, 100% equity participation is allowed in accordance with the RBI's guidelines, though repatriation is permitted after 5 years of the operations, and only from the accumulated forex earnings, after due taxes are paid.

11) What are the norms for NRI investments in domestic mutual funds?

General permission of the RBI exists for sale of units of mutual funds to NRIs and FIIs provided the investment is being made through inward remittance through normal banking channels or by debit to the NRIs' NRE/FCNR account. The returns are accordingly paid into the investor's NRE/FCNR account.

12) Are bonds issued by PSUs and purchase of shares of public sector undertakings open to investment by NRIs?

Yes, with repatriation benefits. In the case of public sector undertakings, NRI holding should not exceed 1% of the paid-up capital. The investment must come from inward remittance through the authorised dealer or through the NRE/FCNR account. Applications are made through the designated SBI branch.

13) Are deposits with companies allowed to NRIs?

Yes, funds in Fixed Deposits are permitted with full repatriation benefits after 3 years.


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