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February 28, 2010


Shantaram wants FEMA violations probed


http://oheraldo.in/news/Main%20Page%20News/Shantaram-wants-FEMA-violations-probed/34088.html

28 February 2010


Herald News Desk, Panjim:

Shantaram Naik, MP, has said that there were large scale violations of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999) by Russians in Morjim which require prompt action by State machinery.

Naik in a statement issued after the tour of Morjim village on Saturday said that the provisions of FFMA and regulations framed thereunder are required to be tightened, so that, foreign nationals do not purchase land in Goa illegally, deprive locals of their business and means of livelihood.

Naik said that recent budget provides for the appointment of a committee to examine all financial legislations to bring in reforms in them and that, he would take up the issue of need to amend FEMA with that committee.

Naik said he would to take up the larger issue including the need to amend Constitution to give protection for Goa land with the Prime Minister very soon.

“Goa being a tourist State and considering age old tradition of Goa’s hospitality “Atithi Devo Bhavo” (A guest is like a God) should be our motto and that we should try to  handle conflicts between locals and foreigners with restraint,” he said.

Naik said that FEMA provisions permit foreign nationals to do business under certain conditions, which are blatantly violated.

If foreigners are found purchasing agricultural land, or when they do business without having come on business visa, without taking permission from Reserve Bank of India, without fulfilling requirement of 182 days of residence and without fulfilling other mandatory requirements, the State government as well as the Central authorities have to act swiftly and take legal action, he explained.

The MP said there were a large number of complaints by local against the Russian tourists. These were plying businesses thus depriving the local population of their livelihood, he stated.

Naik said all these tourists who operate businesses should be considered to be violating FEMA.

Many food joints are run de facto by Russians when the licences from Panchayats and other authorities stand in the name of locals and, in such cases the Russian or foreign national concerned should be deemed to be doing business in violation of FEMA.