I was curious about it as well as I pay loads of amount for PIS transactions. I found the following. Quoting from RBI article. the link for which is attached.
Important points are highlighted in Bold. So, you could just purchase shares from NRO account from now on if I understand this article correctly.
[See Regulation 5(3) (ii)]
Acquisition of Securities or units by
a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), on Non-Repatriation basis
Permission to purchase
- A Non-resident Indian (NRI), including a company, a trust and a partnership firm incorporated outside India and owned and controlled by non-resident Indians, may acquire and hold, on non-repatriation basis, equity shares, convertible preference shares, convertible debenture, warrants or units, which will be deemed to be domestic investment at par with the investment made by residents. Without loss of generality, it is stated that
An NRI may acquire, on non-repatriation basis, any security issued by a company without any limit either on the stock exchange or outside it.
An NRI may invest, on non-repartition basis, in units issued by an investment vehicle without any limit, either on the stock exchange or outside it.
An NRI may contribute, on non-repatriation basis, to the capital of a partnership firm, a proprietary firm or a Limited Liability Partnership without any limit.
Explanation: ‘Investment Vehicles’ and ‘Units’ and ‘shall have the same meaning as defined in sub-regulation (ii g) and (xi A) of Regulation 2 of these Regulations.
Prohibition on purchase
- Notwithstanding what has been stated in paragraph 1, an NRI shall not make any investment, under this Schedule, in equity shares, convertible preference shares, convertible debenture, warrants or units of a Nidhi company or a company engaged in agricultural/plantation activities or real estate business or construction of farm houses or dealing in Transfer of Development Rights.
Explanation: For the purpose of this paragraph, “Real estate business” means dealing in land and immovable property with a view to earning profit therefrom and does not include development of townships, construction of residential commercial premises, roads or bridges, educational institutions, recreational facilities, city and regional level infrastructure, townships. Further, earning of rent income on lease of the property, not amounting to transfer, will not amount to “real estate business”. Investment in units of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) registered and regulated under the SEBI (REITs) regulations 2014 shall also be excluded from the definition of “real estate business”.
Method of payment for purchase
- The consideration for investment under this Schedule shall be paid by way of inward remittance through normal banking channel from abroad or out of funds held in NRE/FCNR/NRO account maintained with a bank in India:
The sale/maturity proceeds (net of applicable taxes) of the securities or units acquired under this Schedule shall be credited only to NRO account irrespective of the type of account from which the considerations for acquisition were paid.
The amount invested under this Scheme and the capital appreciation thereon shall not be allowed to be repatriated abroad. ”