Explained | What do the J&K Land Grants Rules, 2022 entail?

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained | What do the J&K Land Grants Rules, 2022 entail?” published in The Hindu on 24th December 2022

What is the News?

The J&K Lieutenant Governor’s administration has notified fresh land rules under J&K Land Grant Rules-2022.

What are J&K Land Grant Rules-2022?

J&K Land Grant Rules-2022 will replace the J&K Land Grants Rules-1960. These rules dealt with the special rules to grant government land on lease in the erstwhile State of J&K. 

What did the previous rules provide for?

Under the J&K Land Grants Rules 1960, prime locations such as Srinagar, Jammu, Gulmarg, and Pahalgam were opened up for the construction of hotels, commercial structures, and residential buildings in the past. 

The land was granted on lease to only those persons who are permanent residents of the State and those allowed by the government in the interest of industrial or commercial development or in the favor of a registered charitable society.

What do the new rules provide for?

According to the new land laws, the leases of current landowners will not be extended in case of their lease expiry. Unlike the previous up to 99 years of the lease, the lease period has also been reduced to 40 years. 

The government has asked the outgoing leaseholders to evict properties or else face evictions under the new rules.

What is the J&K administration’s plan for lease now?

An expert committee will enlist all properties where the lease had ended. It will be e-auctioned afresh.

The land can be leased for education, healthcare, tourism, skill development, hydroelectric projects, and other recreational purposes.

The rules open bidding to any person legally competent under Section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872. The land can be leased to ex-servicemen, war widows, families of deprived categories, migrant workers, building and construction workers, and sufferers of natural calamities.

What will be the immediate impact of the amendments?

The new rules have hundreds of properties open for fresh auctions, where outsiders could also participate. 

Why are regional parties opposing these new rules? 

The regional parties have claimed that these new rules have been brought to bring rich outsiders to buy prime property in J&K at the cost of local businesses and their interests. They said, the first right to these lease properties belongs to those who were already settled here.

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