Perils of buying agricultural land in Karnataka for NRIs and Indian citizens

By Nitin J Shetty, Chartered Accountant, Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Apr 23: NRIs (Non Resident Indians), PIOs (Persons of Indian Origin), OCI holders (Overseas Citizens of India) or even Indian citizens with hard cash may be tempted to invest in lush farmlands or plantation properties in Karnataka, India.

Reason - the produce from agricultural land, or the rental income by leasing out such land to a farmer or income from house constructed on such a land, is totally tax free.

Such verdant lands are also exempted from wealth tax; a tax that is, by and large, levied on benefits that accrue from any owned property.

But purchasing agricultural lands anywhere in India can be risky despite the tantalizing tax breaks and wealth tax exemption.

There are some stringent restrictions imposed upon by the central and the state governments on buyers locally and abroad, even on those of Indian origin.

Despite the caution, if foreign nationals, NRIs, PIOs and OCI holders would still prefer to invest in agricultural lands/plantation properties/farm houses in Karnataka specifically, take note of these crucial points:

Under RBI’s Section 6 (3) (i) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 and other regulations amended from time to time:

1. No agricultural land can be legally purchased by foreigners in Karnataka. In fact this rule is uniformly applicable all over India. No Indian state permits foreign nationals to buy farmlands.

2. NRIs and PIOs also cannot buy agricultural land in Karnataka. Same rule applies all over India. RBI’s approval is mandatory and it will surely not be easily attainable.

Even if the apex Indian bank allows the same, it would largely depend on individual circumstances.

3. OCI holders too cannot buy agricultural land in Karnataka. For all intents and purposes they are foreign citizens despite their OCI status.

While the OCI status grants them visa for life to stay in India, they have not been granted the Indian citizenship. They still hold foreign passports and hence are not eligible.

4. NRIs, PIOs, OCI holders and foreign citizens of Indian origin also cannot acquire agricultural land in Karnataka or the whole of India, by way of gift.

They can, however, acquire agricultural land by way of inheritance in Karnataka.

NRIs/PIOs who have acquired foreign citizenship can continue to hold agricultural land or any other property they owned in India before change of their residential status.

The caveat here is that they should have inherited or acquired the same legally (as per FEMA regulations of the time) before accepting foreign citizenship.

Also NRIs/PIOs owning / holding agricultural lands/plantation properties or farm houses in India may sell or give as gift the aforesaid property only to a person resident in India who is a citizen of India.

All foreign nationals of non-Indian origin resident outside India would need prior approval of the RBI to sell or gift agricultural lands/plantation properties/farm houses in India.

Now coming to the Indian citizens, those who wish to buy agricultural land in Karnataka, they too must be aware of the State laws before making any concrete decision on the matter.

Some of the critical legal riders as per Section 79A onwards of the Karnataka Land Reforms Act 1961 and the amended Act 1995 of the same are as follows:

1. Plantation crop under the said Act has been defined as cardamom, coffee, pepper, rubber and tea. Such a plantation land does not come under the definition of agricultural land.

2. The buyer’s income including that of his family from sources other than agricultural lands should not exceed Rs. 2 lakhs per annum.

3. The buyer must be originally an agriculturist or an agricultural worker with agricultural land in his name before the year 1974.

4. He cannot purchase land granted to members of scheduled caste and tribe. Besides he should remember land granted by the government cannot be sold for a period of 15 years.

5. After purchasing agricultural land the buyer must use the land for agricultural purpose only. It is legally forbidden to utilize agricultural land for any other purpose.

6. However, agricultural land that does not fall under the Green Belt can be converted for non-agricultural purposes. For instance, it can be converted into residential, commercial, industrial purposes etc.

But this can be done only after approval of the statutory authorities on payment of the prescribed fees and fulfilling certain other conditions.

7. Agricultural land cannot be leased for any period whatsoever, except in the districts of Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada for the purpose of utilizing the land for aquaculture for a period not exceeding 20 years.


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Comment on this article

  • stellarhomes, Bangalore

    Tue, Jun 21 2022

    The information that you provide is extremely valuable and will definitely benefit others. Thank you for your article. Awesome!

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • mohammed habeebullah, Ballari, Karnataka

    Thu, Jun 28 2018

    Hello Sir,
    I am Senior Geologist(Consulting Mining Geologist), my question is my mother holds agricultural land 4.00 acres approx. now she is no more.
    Can i get a certification from authorities as a agriculturist to purchase agricultural land in my name

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • shyamini, mauritius

    Sun, Jan 03 2016

    dear Nitin,

    beautiful article.

    I am an NRI (residing outside india on work deputation for 12 months), come from agriculture family. I have records of my grand father holding RTC/Khata for wetlands and dry lands in 1960, which is in line with Karnataka Land reforms act.

    My indian salary is less than 25 lakhs (as per recent land reforms amendment act passed by karnataka).

    My legal advisor is local kannada speaking professional, he is not aware of NRI clause.

    I have paid advance to my agent to purchase 25 guntas of agri land in Karnataka, Bangalore Rural.

    My work assignment will be coming to an end in 8 months time from now and i will be moving back to india for good..

    I plan to make a short trip in between to do the registration.

    Please advise if this is legal for me to go ahead.

    best regards

    DisAgree [3] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Avinash, Hubli

    Thu, Oct 08 2015

    My father had purchased land in 2007,now the sellers son claims its his ancestors property and have put a case on us but in the agreement the seller has mentioned that the land he purchased and sold us was bought from his own income,not got from his ancestors,need some suggestion .Thank you

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • nitesh, bagalkot

    Wed, Sep 23 2015

    if anybody interested in buying lands in bagalkot district you contact me.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Thangaraj, Tamilnadu

    Mon, Feb 01 2016

    We need 15- 20 acres dry land for us at bijapur or raichur district karnataka in remote area pls contact mobile 9952331733

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Oct 06 2016


    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Darryl, Bangalore

    Wed, Sep 16 2015

    "The caveat here is that they should have inherited or acquired the same legally (as per FEMA regulations of the time) before accepting foreign citizenship."

    My question is, the parents being being foreign citizens 40 years and not having the property registered in their names being dead now, can the grandchildren who are 40 years foreign nations claim inheritance to their grandfather's property?

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Sep 12 2015

    3 years before registered one acre coffee land & 1 acre wet farm land.
    registration done and RTC came with one note " samshayaspadavaagide" it means doubtful.
    here my question if not possible how registrar allowed to register the land?
    now they sending notice from AC office, is it meaningful.
    can anyone give solution for this issue.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse


    Wed, Sep 09 2015

    Is it legal for an individual land owner of Karnataka state to give his land on lease for agricultural purpose to any company/ or agri companies. Is there any restriction on this? if yes then what is the method of leasing the land?

    DisAgree [1] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • RajKumar, Bangalore

    Wed, Apr 29 2015

    This is a good article. There are a few additional points. For a nonresident of the state (e.g. a transplant from another state like TN to KA, I am not talking about NRI) one must obtain permission from Assistant Commissioner (or Deputy Commissioner) to purchase agriculture land in Karnataka. The AC or DC may permit it based on the intention to use the land (for agri purposes only) and contingent upon other rules (e.g. 2 lakh per year income). Thus, all is not lost for outsiders to buy farmland here. It may kindly be noted that even though it appears difficult in Karnataka, there are some other states like Himachal Pradesh where outsiders cannot even buy ANY land (other than built properties like apartments). Every State has such citizen-unfriendly rules. Strangely, the state where it is easier to buy agri land, is TN. As an observing citizen I can say most farmers are very innocent and fall into the traps set by commercial minds and cheaply sell out their land. The law aims to prevent such predatory schemes. My advice to buyers is, acquire a yellow-zone land in a rural area (also known as freehold land) and use it as a farmland. The costs are not vastly different in rural areas.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pramod Pinto, Mangalore

    Tue, Apr 28 2015

    Awesome information & need of the hour..It is well defined write up as many of us are baffled by norms of purchase of agricultural property in India..Thanks Mr Nitin Shetty & Kudos!!

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Mon, Apr 27 2015

    i am well aware of what you said. But i did not say "social security" , in my write up said "social assistance" equals to social welfare payments for the poor.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ashok Bhat, Mangalore

    Mon, Apr 27 2015

    We need to urge the Government to increase income limit of Rs.2 lac which is fixed in 1996 ( In am not sure the exact year, it is assumption). Many of the laws related income limit need to increased atleast once in five years. I have already brought this matter to the knowledge of the Government during various meeting held in our D.C. office. For your information Karnataka Government in last session the bill placed in the assembly this income limit to Rs.25 lacs. But it was discussed in detail and waitng for approval. With this I hope that some people will get some releaf.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Albert D' Souza, San Francisco/Mangalore

    Mon, Apr 27 2015

    Mr. ad, Mangalore,
    Social security is not Government hand out. Funding for Social security does not come from Government budget, State/Central General fund or Sovereign fund. Social security is like Insurance fund where every worker contribute a fixed amount of money from his/her pay cheque to the social security fund and the employer and other income generators match the contribution. Every Citizen/Legal resident, rich or poor, employer or employee is equally benefit from the social security fund at the age of retirement or time of disability.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Mon, Apr 27 2015

    what bat food stamps and other government programs for the poor which come out of state funds funded by taxation??

    DisAgree [3] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lokesh, Belfast

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    Great piece of information, thanks a lot Nitin. I liked this part: After purchasing agricultural land the buyer must use the land for agricultural purpose only. It is legally forbidden to utilize for agricultural land for any other purpose.:: This is a must to protect the agricultural land or else we all live in concrete jungle soon.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    @ Albert

    I fully agree wid your views. Well explained eye opener!!

    Both NRIs and locals are facing same dilemna when it comes to land.

    It's so surprising even after decades of independence we are unable to have a transparent law and system for land matters in line wid those of the most advanced countries of the world, which only gives rise to rampant corruption in the country.

    Our politcal system will only encourage "Vote bank politics" based on the points you so vividly explained in your comments, leading to more socio economical backwardness of India.

    No chor party in India will ever put India and Indians first!

    Regarding investing in international properties is also not that easy, an example is Dubai, which initially opened up of foreign ownership of real estate with low fees for residence permit had suddenly jacked up the fees as well as imposed tougher conditions for existing and would be aspirants for the same.

    There is a great opportunity to those who wish to tap into the transparent and smooth real estate business focusing FDI, local and NRI investors in Indian market.

    Since RBI permits even local Indians to invest huge sums of money abroad, Indians should take up the initiative.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • hylon rodrigues, mangalore

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    Pl furnish address of nitin shetty chartered accountant for any help

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Denzil Goveas, Mangalore / Bahrain

    Wed, Apr 29 2015

    Dear Nitin
    Very Informative and thank you very much for enlightening us.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Albert D' Souza, San Francisco/Mangalore

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    My Dear Non resident Indians, OCI & PIO. I am writing being 30 years plus experience as a NRI and frequent visitor to India & several nations. Please do not invest your hard earned money in the land of the corrupt, Residents of India will make you to run pillar to post to get documents to be registered.Disposing any property or Purchasing in India is a time consuming and head pain. and the who remained in India do not work and wait to get your hard earned money for free. People of India become lazy due to Government hand out like one rupee rice, old & disability pension from Government, BPL card, Corrupt card, political card, religion card, communal card etc,. , People in India are good in Do nothing government work or good in making stories about personal life of others etc. Please do not show up your wealth in India. Better invest in stable, Law abiding country or enjoy it by spending before you die. May God Bless your hard work in foreign Land.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sachidanand Shetty, Mundkur/Dubai

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    Dear Albert Sirji…..I feel ashamed and pained to read your so many complaints against our own Country and our own people and our own politicians but what you said is nothing but the truth unfold for sure. We are becoming so lazy that even we don’t bother to see what is the real cost of such Government services. Just take an example of registering your newly purchased car at regional RTO. If you go there personally they will insist you to deal with Agent and when you deal with Agent you will be surprised to see the difference of the receipt and the actual money you paid to this Agent!!!! Same with the case of property registration too

    DisAgree [6] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    don't you all get hand outs, so called social assistance or food stamps in usa

    DisAgree [18] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    many in india encroach the lands and falsify records but such menaces not so common elsewhere or usa as people will go to jail for fraud.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Naveen cardoza, Mangalore

    Sat, Apr 25 2015

    Well written Nitin.Am sure it is very helpful for the general public/Nri's as many of them will be unaware of such age old laws.we need to push for the amendment of such laws so that they are more judicious and practical.I hope you will write more articles that helps us even in the future..God bless you..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Fri, Apr 24 2015

    agri-land is gold. NRIs, PIOs ,OCIs ,hold on to the inherited or inheritable land. By selling you lose it.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse


    Fri, Apr 24 2015

    NRI's are indian citizens. So, RBI rule not applicable more over my good old friend Anthony, laws applicable at the time of purchase won't change.The new law applicable for the new transaction after the law came into force.Since, NRI's are indian citizens temporary out of the country for employment. So, they are as good as a person residing inside India.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Patrick saldanha, karkala

    Fri, Apr 24 2015

    Hi nitin,
    Thanks for the information which is hard to come by what with varied departments within the taluk office. I wish to know, if I have inherited a property and subsequently became an OCI, can I sell this property due to encumbrances say Naxal menace and buy agricultural property elsewhere?

    DisAgree [3] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Fri, Apr 24 2015


    I have a humble suggestion - please do not sell the land you previously own, until you buy a new piece of land (if the law permits as per your prevailing status). Because, once you sell your previously owned land, you don't any more qualify to buy an agricultural land.

    This is a request to all those who own Agricultural land by inheritance. You may find the land to be too difficult to manage, not yielding as per your expectations, etc. etc. but once you let go of your possession, you will never regain your entitlement to own an agricultural land.

    Believe me, you may now prefer city life, flats but soon you will be disgusted by the pollution and congestion. That is exactly when you regret having done away with your precious possession which will never return to you.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • ad, mangaluru

    Fri, Apr 24 2015

    wealth of an advice lydia.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Sat, Apr 25 2015

    @ Lydia,

    Salute you!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Patrick saldanha, karkala

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    Lydia Lobo-Are you also AKA Nitin Shetty?. I am looking for informed answers and not dil-ke-bath. Will the real Nitin Shetty please stand-up?

    DisAgree [5] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Sun, Apr 26 2015

    Mr. Saldhana,

    Did you not read my first comment below, in which I thanked Mr. Shetty for this precious, enlightening article ? Then, how could you assume me aka Nitin Shetty ?

    Look gentleman, you can't demand Mr. Shetty's reply or advice, as long as this is a public forum, not his blog that you are charged for.

    We take many things for granted, one of them is DW's Editing Team's services. If I had abused you, my comment would never have been here.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Report Abuse

  • Louis, Mangalore

    Fri, Apr 24 2015

    This rule is outdated and only to scare opportunist builders. How a person with annual income less than 2 lack afford to buy a land ?. I studied this outdated law many many years ago. Today if you go by this rule then each and every transaction on agricultural land/famm land deal is illegal. see the on line affidavit of MLAs/MPs filled before election declaring their asset. Almost all MLA/MPs holds agricultural land acquired by sale deed despite being non agriculturist. 70% of rubber plantation owners in kerala are NRIs.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Antony Fernandes, Mangalore/USA

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Nitin J Shetty, Chartered Accountant, Mangaluru

    Thank you very much for your informative writing. As many of the non citizen of India are not aware of the laws, me too. But one thing is sure Laws in every country will change every now and then. Time you bought there may be a law which allows you to buy, after some years that law must have changed.

    As an Non citizen if you want to invest in any foreign countries the best thing is first you consult with a Lawyer or a CA or anybody else who have good knowledge in this, and tell them to about the changes and pay their appropriate fee, nothing will happen. Without this don't pour your money where you are not a citizen of that soil.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • kumar, kudla

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Let me add what I learnt from advocates.
    My grandfather owned 2 acres of agricultural but dryland was living in a hut throughout his life. As per law he was agriculturist. my father & his siblings continued to live in the same hut, expanded to accommodate bigger family, did all sorts of jobs, but all of them were agriculturists official income of less than 2 lakhs ( I REPEAT OFFICIAL INCOME, MAY NOT BE THE TRUE INCOME!!!)Per year throughout.
    With the help of my parents & relatives i studied up to post graduation, worked / working at different places of India, have some money with me.
    Now the issue is my honesty, I paid tax to government & that was my mistake !.
    Because I have grown up in paddy / areca/banana fields, used to go to filed for answering natures call, play in streams of village, used to work in landlords farms during vacation to earn money for school fee, I am somehow interested to live my retired life in my birth village growing banana / cashew/jasmine/coconut/sweet potato..etc.
    Obviously my income was more than 2 lakhs per year for the past so many years. SO AS PER KARNATAKA LAND REFORMS ACT, even though i am from agricultural family, even though i am share holder of a small percentage of my grand fathers agricultural land, even though i know how to work in farms, i can not buy a piece of agricultural land because of my white income. In my own birthplace i cannot buy a piece of agricultural land, just because my income was more than 2 lakhs per year.
    The mistake I did was I honestly paid my tax & now I am not eligible to do what work I used to do in my childhood in landlords farm.
    Everybody knows that people with crores of black income are claiming that their income is less than 2 lakhs per year to retain their tag of agriculturist. So meaningless rule of two lakhs in 2015 !!!!
    Why cant an NRI who makes some money in gulf should not be allowed to buy some agricultural land & settle in india ? don’t you think that this law is draconian? We are not

    DisAgree [3] Agree [60] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Sat, Apr 25 2015

    Mr. Kumar,

    May I know how you could have evaded taxes on your earnings if you had registered yourself as a farmer ? Because, once you get an employment as per your Degree, you will be considered as a Doctor, Engineer, Lecturer, Professor, Journalist or so on. Then, your income will be classified as that of a professional that you are, not as that of a farmer('s son).

    To have taxes according to your father/Grand father's privilege, you must give your original address of your father's abode, have bank account in the village cooperative bank and live there, not in a flat in the city (if you are - please don't be offended).

    True that it terribly hurts when a large chunk of our earning gets eaten away by taxes but we must understand that we are enjoying emergency services, police assistance, hospitals, tap water, roads to run our cars, electricity to enlighten our abode is all because of our taxes.

    If at all you want to pay less tax, give equivalent (or less) sum to an NGO or a Social Organizations that do work on behalf of the government (i.e. uplifting the poor) and present that receipt while filing your tax - you will be eligible to rebate on taxes.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • kumar, kudla

    Wed, Apr 29 2015

    lydia mam,

    i am not against paying tax. i agree about some of your points, but not all.

    what i am trying to tell is rs two lakhs limit !!!!

    do you think that a person who is having less than 2 lakhs income per year from non-agricultural sources can afford to buy a piece of agriculrural land for 30 lakhs ( though the registration deed may show 1,25,000/-!!)
    obviously a big no. all brockers, business people, middle men who earn in crores, at least lakhs will always show their income in require slab....

    why a honest desire to own an agricultural land & do some agriculture work as hobbey after retirement in my birth place is not allowed, just because i am earing white money?


    come on .... i mean to say in 2015, the limit of 2 laks is too less for the said act. it has to be raised at regular intervals.
    ok ,let there be a law that it should be used only for agricultural activities, but you can not prevent A INDIAN CITIZEN from buying the land. thats too in a nation where majority of income is black.

    i hope you agree with me.

    DisAgree Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alex Saldhana, Belur

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    I'm an NRI and also agriculturist and holds agri land inherited from my parents. I purchased agricultural land in green belt area and registered it in my name. I developed this land only for agricultural purpose by planting coffee, banana,pepper silver oak and other multi crope plantation. The area is fully surrounded by coffee estates and no scope for any govt projects. During the time of registration they only cross checked my agriculture status and I proved it and they satisfied.
    before registration I also consulted a lawyer and nobody informed me about this strange rule. Also I know many NRIs holding agricultural land and they are not even agriculturist.

    Now what are the consequences being a agriculturist and NRI if I continue with agricultural activities in the said land. I pay all applicable taxes and my agri land generates agricultural output beside giving employment to local villagers.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    What happens with the agricultural/plantation/farm house which OCI inherited or get from his/her father or mother?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Mr. Misquith,

    Reply to your query lies in the article itself. Please read this :

    4. NRIs, PIOs, OCI holders and foreign citizens of Indian origin also cannot acquire agricultural land in Karnataka or the whole of India, by way of gift.

    They can, however, acquire agricultural land by way of inheritance in Karnataka.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Apr 23 2015


    thank you.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • FM, Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    I have one question, NRI that is non resident Indians are we Indians or not? NRI means we are not resident in India, does not mean we are not Indians. So who is going to stop us from buying agricultural land in our country just because we do not reside there? We a democratic country. Before enforcing these stupid laws, take care of the country's farmers who are committing suicide by the dozens every single day. Review the government plans that lure the poor farmers with big promises and then let them down. When it is gets tough for the poor farmers to survive you (the banks) come down on them like vultures do you have a conscience? Get real.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [54] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    @ FM,
    I fully agree with your views on our draconian laws affecting genuine buyers.

    It is strange Tatas and others buy agri land even in Karnataka at millions of rupees, in spite of having income more than Rs.2 Lakhs.

    I strongly feel, NRIs, and non-agriculturists must fight for our rights, against this law which is only helping more corruption in our country.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [35] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Apr 23 2015


    DisAgree [9] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • FM, Mangalore

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Are you from outer space. For God' sake you are an Indian and every Indian has a right to buy property, plantation whatever in YOUR country. YOU have to assert your fundamental rights.

    DisAgree [9] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Denis Pinto, udipi

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    You can approach the AC with your future plans for doing agriculture and the amount of money you will invest .if the AC is convinced he will allow you to buy the agricultural land . This route NRI can buy and employ people to do the work. You can also form a charitable trust and buy agricultural land. there are ways but some hard work is required.also you can buy agri land in kerala and become the owner of agricultural land and then you can buy agri land in karnataka .

    DisAgree [2] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Thu, Apr 23 2015


    I agree with that Kerala based point of yours. In Kerala, there is no need for ancestral inheritance proof, you can buy a land without difficulty. Once you have that piece of ownership records, you are eligible to buy agricultural land in Karnataka.

    One country but different laws - strange !

    DisAgree [3] Agree [32] Reply Report Abuse

  • Denis Pinto, Udipi

    Fri, Apr 24 2015

    you can ask the seller to plant rubber plants, coffee plants etc and convert his agricultural land into a plantation. if he can get this done then you can buy this plantation land because it is no more agricultural land. you can also buy farmland..there are many classes of land which you can buy except agricultural land.if you restrict to Karnataka u r a bit stuck.

    DisAgree [2] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Suresh, M'lore

    Mon, Apr 27 2015

    Dear Lydia, Eventhough you purchase agri. land in Kerala and then try to buy land in Karnataka, this is not possible becoz you need agri. certificate in your parents name where they should be proved that they where an agri'st before year 1974.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Stephen Menezes, Shirthady/Dubai

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Very informative article by Nitin,thank you.

    NRI's, PIO's and OCI's are distinctly different from each other and I differ with the interpretation regarding the NRI's. NRI's who are agriculturists and children of the farmer can legally buy farmlands despite their NRI status and no RBI permission is required. NRI's have the same rights and privileges like ordinary citizens, additionally NRI's enjoy tax free income on deposits.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [36] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Thu, Apr 23 2015


    I do agree that NRI, POI, OCI are different from each other, especially because NRI are temporarily outside the country, say, for the duration of their employment.

    However, the fact that NRIs cannot buy agricultural land is especially in the cases that they do not have agricultural land inherited from their parents, is also true.

    I have personally endured this and have given up a deal at the last minute upon the legal adviser explaining us about this particular clause. Anybody, including NRIs, can buy converted land, with no hindrance at all.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

  • Aubb, Kuwait

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    @ Lydia,

    Can owners of agri land prior to becoming NRIs, or NRIs, inherited agri land, buy agri land in India, Karnataka...??

    DisAgree [3] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Thu, Apr 23 2015


    Once you have AGRICULTURAL land in your name come to you from your parent's property share, no question arises about not being eligible to buy more land. This, whether or not you are NRI. So, the clause does not apply only to NRIs but to all.

    A problem is when, Agricultural land from parents is sold, not transferred to their children. Then, an individual should freshly establish himself as an Agri land holder by wrong means like Kerala method mentioned below. However, you can buy commercial land (converted from Agri to commercial) without having any previous ownership records, again, NRI or otherwise.

    I can't clarify this about POI or OCI categories.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [14] Report Abuse

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Thu, Apr 23 2015

    Thank yo sir, for bringing this very enlightening information to the fore. I do have a feeling that this restriction was put in place to evade excessive encroachment by developers/builders.

    Nevertheless, there are several families who lost cultivatable land owing to poverty, regained their financial status with children attaining earning stage but they could not go back to agricultural status due to all these restrictions, me and my siblings being one of those affected in this matter.

    I, of all options, am even hopeful that some land owner, unable to look after his land, will hand me over to take care of it in his absence so that I can fulfill my urge to serve the nature.

    Yet, I hope that there will be change in the laws to enable genuine, farming-interested people to serve the nature in future. Which helps especially people in retirement, to have something to keep themselves occupied and active.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [73] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Perils of buying agricultural land in Karnataka for NRIs and Indian citizens

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