KATHMANDU, Dec 19: Foreigners will soon be able to buy apartments in Nepal.
The government has started preparation for amending the Civil Code 20121 BS for introducing a provision that allows foreigners to buy apartments in Nepal.
Though successive governments had been saying that they would permit foreigners to buy apartments for giving a new lease of life to the slowing housing sector, lack of law has made it impossible.
According to the Ministry of Urban Development, it has prepared the draft for amendment that will relax existing laws to pave the way for foreigners to buy apartments in Nepal. “Since existing laws has been affecting the implementation of fiscal policy, we have prepared the draft for amendment to Civil Code.
We have already forwarded the draft to the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs," the ministry added.
According to Civil Code 2021 BS, property in Nepal cannot be sold or gifted to any foreigner, foreign organization or foreign country. The government can seize the property if such transaction is made.
But the Foreign Investment and Technology Transfer Act 2059 states that 'foreigners can buy or sell property in Nepal in the name of organization or company.'
However, the government decided to relax the policy following strong lobbying by real estate entrepreneurs who have been claiming that real estate business will get a boost if foreigners are allowed to buy apartments in Nepal.
The real estate entrepreneurs say that the law should be amended and implemented, according to the spirit of the fiscal policy, as soon as possible.
There are around 44,000 units of apartments in Kathmandu and if the act is amended and implemented, it will be easier to sell apartments, they claim.
The budget speech of the last fiscal year states that foreigners can buy or sell property in Nepal. The budget speech of Fiscal Year 2011/12 had also said that foreigners can buy an apartment worth more than $200,000.