J&K – The issues around the state

Outsiders can now buy land in Jammu and Kashmir


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Not Much

Mains level: Abrogation of Art. 370

People, as well as investors outside Jammu and Kashmir, can now purchase land in the Union Territory (UT) as the Centre has notified new land laws for the region.

What is the new criterion?

  • Under the newly introduced J&K Development Act, the term “permanent resident of the State” as a criterion has been “omitted”, paving the way for investors outside J&K to invest in the UT.
  • Under the ‘transfer of land for the purpose of promotion of healthcare or education’, the government may now allow the transfer of land.
  • According to amendments made to “The Jammu & Kashmir Land Revenue Act, Samvat, 1996”, only agriculturists of J&K can purchase agricultural land.
  • No sale, gift, exchange, or mortgage of the land shall be valid in favour of a person who is not an agriculturist.
  • No land used for agriculture purposes shall be used for any non-agricultural purposes except with the permission of the district collector.
  • Under a new provision, an Army officer not below the rank of Corps Commander can declare an area as “Strategic Area” within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements.

Note: These laws do not apply to the UT of Ladakh. The Centre is likely to notify separate land laws for the UT of Ladakh soon.

Criticisms of the move

  • Political parties have opposed the move citing the sale of the state.
  • With these new laws in place, tokenism of the domicile certificate has been done away with, as purchasing non-agricultural land has been made easier.

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