Business Standard

Any Indian can now buy land in Kashmir: Explained in six key points

The BJP says it will open the 'floodgates of development' and mark the beginning of a new era of progress and prosperity in the union territory

A student watches an online lecture on a mobile phone inside a digital mobile education library in Mumbai. Photo: Reuters

A student watches an online lecture on a mobile phone inside a digital mobile education library in Mumbai. Photo: Reuters

PTIBS Web Team New Delhi
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The Centre has cleared the decks for people from across the country to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir by amending several laws. The BJP said it will open the 'floodgates of development' and mark the beginning of a new era of progress and prosperity in the union territory.

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In a 111-page notification in Hindi and English, the Ministry of Home Affairs made several changes to the land laws, including one that allows use of agricultural land for setting up facilities of public purpose. The most important amendment has been made in the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of land with the Centre omitting the phrase "permanent resident of the state" from Section 17 of the law.

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Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha told reporters that the amendments do not allow transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturists. However, there are several exemptions given in the Act which enable transfer of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, including setting up of educational and healthcare facilities.

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Mainstream political parties in the union territory said the move was akin to putting the erstwhile state up 'for sale'. Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said this was 'unacceptable' as not even basic protections that are available in other states have been granted to the people of the union territory. Noting that even basic requirements of domicile have been removed with the obvious intention of "altering the character of" the region, he said the "Centre has completely put JK for sale".

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PDP president Mehbooba Mufti said it was a step to 'disenfranchise' the people of Jammu and Kashmir. "Yet another step that's part of GOI's nefarious designs to disempower & disenfranchise people of JK. From the unconstitutional scrapping of Article 370 to facilitating loot of our natural resources and finally putting land in JK up for sale," she tweeted.

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Before the repeal of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year, non-residents could not buy any immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir. The latest changes have paved the way for non-residents to buy land in the union territory.

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First Published: Oct 28 2020 | 12:02 PM IST

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