FOREIGN EXCHANGE REGULATIONS IN INDIA
India has liberalized its foreign exchange controls. Rupee is freely convertible on current account. Rupee is also almost fully convertible on capital account for non-residents. Profits earned, dividends and proceeds out of the sale of investments are fully repatriable for FDI. There are restrictions on capital account for resident Indians for incomes earned in India.
The Reserve Bank of India’s Foreign Exchange Department administers Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999(FEMA). Foreign Exchange Management (transfer of securities to any person resident outside India) Regulation as amended from time to time regulates transfer for issue of any security by a person resident outside India.
Repatriation of investment capital and profits earned in India
(i) All foreign investments are freely repatriable, subject to sectoral policies and except for cases where Non Resident Indians choose to invest specifically under non-repatriable schemes. Dividends declared on foreign investments can be remitted freely through an Authorized Dealer.
(ii) Non-residents can sell shares on stock exchange without prior approval of RBI and repatriate through a bank the sale proceeds if they hold the shares on repatriation basis and if they have necessary NOC/ tax clearance certificate issued by Income Tax authorities.
(iii) For sale of shares through private arrangements, Regional offices of RBI grant permission for recognized units of foreign equity in Indian company in terms of guidelines indicated in Regulation 10.B of Notification No. FEMA.20/2000 RB dated May ‘2000. The sale price of shares on recognized units is to be determined in accordance with the guidelines prescribed under Regulation 10B(2) of the above Notification.
(iv) Profits, dividends, etc. (which are remittances classified as current account transactions) can be freely repatriated.
Acquisition of Immovable Property by Non-resident
A person resident outside India, who has been permitted by Reserve Bank of India to establish a branch, or office, or place of business in India (excluding a Liaison Office), has general permission of Reserve Bank of India to acquire immovable property in India, which is necessary for, or incidental to, the activity. However, in such cases a declaration, in prescribed form (IPI), is required to be filed with the Reserve Bank, within 90 days of the acquisition of immovable property.
Foreign nationals of non-Indian origin who have acquired immovable property in India with the specific approval of the Reserve Bank of India cannot transfer such property without prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India. Please refer to the Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and transfer of Immovable Property in India) Regulations’ 2000 (Notification No. FEMA.21/ 2000-RB dated May 3, 2000).
Acquisition of Immovable Property by NRI
An Indian citizen resident outside India (NRI) can acquire by way of purchase any immovable property in India other than agricultural/ plantation /farm house. He may transfer any immovable property other than agricultural or plantation property or farm house to a person resident outside India who is a citizen of India or to a Person of Indian Origin resident outside India or a person resident in India.