News headlines

by daijiworld's special correspondent

Panaji, Aug 17: Alarmed by an increasing number of foreigners buying properties in the state in violation of foreign exchange management act, 1997 (FEMA), Goa will ask central government to confer powers to the state officers to proceed against violators, senior officials stated.

"Under FEMA, the state government officers can be given powers to proceed against the violations by foreigners. We are seeking these powers so that we can appoint a government officer as an authority and deal with these violations which are right now dealt with reserve bank of India (RBI)," Goa's chief secretary J P Singh.

Emerging from a crucial meeting of senior government officers to discuss the issue, Singh said that the state government has prepared guidelines and taken vital decisions to tackle the issue.

"We can confer regulatory powers on district collector to act against FEMA violations. He can even confiscate the land," Singh said.

The state government was caught in a piquant situation when records revealed that 480 cases of foreigners purchasing property in the tiny state were recorded with various registrar of properties.

The chief secretary has said that directorate of enforcement has also sought details of all the 480 cases from the state government who would be scanning individual cases through various angle.

"The directorate is checking the money invested and other aspects in these properties," Singh said.

Goa government has also instructed its registrars to inform home department in case of any new registration of sale of land or formation of company. "We have asked the registrar to inform home department about any `foreign presence' in the dealings," the chief secretary said.

The state has also sought a list of companies, with the foreigners as its partners, from central registrar of companies.

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