I am a native of Orathanadu in Tanjore, Tamil Nadu, and currently live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I want to buy 2 acres of agricultural land in the state, which will cost me about ₹12-14 lakh. Please note that all of my income is from the UAE and I have no income in India. As per the law, am I eligible to apply for a loan in India to buy the agricultural land?
— Parthiban Duraisamy
We assume that you are either a non-resident Indian (NRI), an overseas citizen of India (OCI) or person of India origin (PIO). Under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, (FEMA) and Foreign Exchange Management (Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India) Regulations, 2018, NRIs, OCIs or PIOs are not permitted to purchase agricultural land, plantation property or farmhouse in India.
However, one may seek special permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which may be granted only after consideration of various factors by the central bank.
In addition, some states in India stipulate that only farmers or agriculturalists are permitted to purchase an agricultural property in the relevant state.
So, one has to understand the restrictions and norms stipulated by Tamil Nadu as a state for acquiring agricultural land. It is, therefore, important to verify your eligibility to purchase such agricultural land before applying for any loan in India for such purchase.
I bought a flat in 2008. At that time, I had added my mother’s name as the co-owner of the property. I kept her share as 50%. We are four siblings—two brothers and two sisters. My mom is ready to gift (or release) her ownership to me. Can my siblings stake a claim in this property later? Is there a better way to get back my share?
— Name withheld on request
Since your mother is willing to gift or release her 50% undivided share in the flat to you, she should either execute and register a gift deed or a release deed, whereby your mother relinquishes her 50% undivided share in the property in your favour.
Also, do note that the gift or release deed will be required to be duly stamped by payment of the applicable stamp duty in the state where the flat is situated and, thereafter, be registered with the concerned office of sub-registrar of assurances. After the execution and registration of the gift deed or release deed, none of your siblings would have any right on the property.
Alternatively, your mother can also bequeath her undivided 50% interest in the property in your favour under a duly executed Will, which shall be effective only after her demise.
However, the Will may be challenged or disputed by either of your siblings at a later stage. Therefore, the execution and registration of a gift deed or release deed during the lifetime of your mother will be the most suitable option for you.
Aradhana Bhansali is partner, Rajani Associates. Queries and views at email@example.com