Once you have decided to buy a property in India next question comes about the payments. An NRI / PIO make payment for purchase of residential / commercial property in India out of
(a) funds remitted to India through normal banking channels or
(b) funds held in NRE / FCNR (B) / NRO account maintained in India
Traveller’s cheque or foreign currency notes or by other mode except those specifically mentioned above, cannot be used to make the payments
Property buying is always a big risk. There might be cases when the deal does not go till the end. So the questions of repatriation arises. Is repatriation of application money for booking of flat / payment made to the builder by NRI/ PIO allowed when the flat or plot is not allotted or the booking / contract is cancelled?
The Authorised Dealers can allow NRIs / PIOs to credit refund of application/ earnest money/ purchase consideration made by the house building agencies/ seller on account of non-allotment of flat/ plot/ cancellation of bookings/ deals for purchase of residential, commercial property, together with interest, if any, net of income tax payable thereon, to NRE/FCNR account, provided, the original payment was made out of NRE/FCNR account of the account holder or remittance from outside India through normal banking channels and the Authorised Dealer is satisfied about the genuineness of the transaction.
In some cases NRIs might want to go for loans. In this case the NRI / PIO can avail of loan from an authorised dealer for acquiring flat / house in India for his own residential use against the security of funds held in his NRE Fixed Deposit account / FCNR (B) account. Such loans are permitted subject to the terms and conditions laid down in Schedules 1 and 2 to the Notification No. FEMA 5/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000 viz. Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations, 2000, as amended from time to time. Banks cannot grant fresh loans or renew existing loans in excess of Rs. 100 lakhs against NRE and FCNR (B) deposits, either to the depositors or to third parties. The banks should also not undertake artificial slicing of the loan amount to circumvent the ceiling of Rs. 100 lakh.
Such loans can be repaid in the following manner:
(a) by way of inward remittance through normal banking channel or
(b) by debit to the NRE / FCNR (B) / NRO account of the NRI/ PIO or
(c) out of rental income from such property
(d) by the borrower’s close relatives, as defined in section 6 of the Companies Act, 1956, through their account in India by crediting the borrower’s loan account.
NRI / PIO, can also avail of housing loan in Rupees from an Authorised Dealer or a Housing Finance Institution in India approved by the National Housing Bank for purchase of residential accommodation or for the purpose of repairs / renovation / improvement of residential accommodation.
But the loans are subject to certain terms and conditions laid down in Regulation 8 of Notification No. FEMA 4/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000 viz. Foreign Exchange Management (Borrowing and lending in rupees) Regulations, 2000, as amended from time to time. Authorised Dealers/ Housing Finance Institutions can also lend to the NRIs/ PIOs for the purpose of repairs/renovation/ improvement of residential accommodation owned by them in India. Such a loan can be repaid (a) by way of inward remittance through normal banking channel or (b) by debit to the NRE / FCNR (B) / NRO account of the NRI / PIO or (c) out of rental income from such property; or (d) by the borrower’s close relatives, as defined in section 6 of the Companies Act, 1956, through their account in India by crediting the borrower’s loan account.
Another option for loans by NRI/PIO avail of housing loan in Rupees from his employer in India but subject to certain terms and conditions given in Regulation 8A of Notification No. FEMA 4/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000 and A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.27 dated October 10, 2003, i.e.,
(i) The loan shall be granted only for personal purposes including purchase of housing property in India;
(ii) The loan shall be granted in accordance with the lender’s Staff Welfare Scheme/Staff Housing Loan Scheme and subject to other terms and conditions applicable to its staff resident in India;
(iii) The lender shall ensure that the loan amount is not used for the purposes specified in sub-clauses (i) to (iv) of clause (1) and in clause (2) of Regulation 6 of Notification No.FEMA.4/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000.
(iv) The lender shall credit the loan amount to the borrower’s NRO account in India or shall ensure credit to such account by specific indication on the payment instrument;
(v) The loan agreement shall specify that the repayment of loan shall be by way of remittance from outside India or by debit to NRE/NRO/FCNR Account of the borrower and the lender shall not accept repayment by any other means.