NRI- Immovable Properties- Introduction
Non Resident Indians - being Indian citizens and foreign citizens of Indian Origin residing abroad other than citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, China, Iran, Nepal & Bhutan, residing abroad can freely acquire & transfer immovable properties in India, subject to certain restrictions laid down under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA).
There are certain restrictions for acquisition of agricultural properties being agricultural farms; farm houses on such land; plantation and real estate trading.  But otherwise, NRIs are free to buy and hold immovable properties which may be residential, commercial or industrial.
There are no restrictions as regards holding period, whereas principal amount representing sale proceeds of commercial and industrial properties can be freely repatriable.  While in cases of residential units, the same is restricted to two house properties.  
The Planning Commission of India has envisaged and planned an outlay of app. US$ 80 bn. i.e. app. Rs. 400,000 crores for housing and real estate development in the current Investment Plan so as to meet the need of say about 26 mn. new houses by 2012.
Overseas Indians i.e. Indian citizens and foreign citizens of Indian origin residing abroad while availing this investment opportunity with potential of excellent gains can also participate in "Nation Building" and thereby serve their Motherland and housing needs of their fellow country-men back home.
The subject is discussed in details under the following heads:-