Centre notifies new Jammu and Kashmir land law that omits ‘permanent resident’ as criteria.
- 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.
- As per section 96 of the J&K Reorganisation Act, 2019, the Centre has the powers to repeal or amend the laws.
Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020
- New law explicitly omitted the exclusive rights on land earlier available to its ‘permanent residents’. No domicile or permanent resident certificate is required to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The term ‘permanent residents of the State’ has been removed from important provisions of laws.
- Land acquired by the government for industrial or commercial purposes can now be allowed to be disposed of or sold to anyone. The amended laws open up urban or non-agricultural land for purchase by outsiders.
- It now permits contract farming on agricultural lands. Nothing shall prohibit the transfer of ownership of land for ‘contract farming’, or grant of lease or mortgage for the loan. Earlier, it was limited to the mortgage for loans.
- It doesn’t impose any limit on the quantum of area for building a residence or a shop, as it exists in certain hilly states including Himachal Pradesh.
- Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 has been notified in the UT.
Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Development Corporation (JKIDC)
The government has provided for the establishment of the Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Development Corporation (JKIDC) for industrial development in J&K.
Objectives of JKIDC;
- To promote and assist in the rapid and orderly establishment, growth, and development of industries in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
- To develop land for the establishment of industries, and establish and manage industrial estates.
Powers of JKIDC
JKIDC will be empowered:
- To acquire and hold both movable and immovable properties.,
- To purchase any land by agreement or to take on lease or under any form of tenancy
- To make available buildings on hire or sale to industrialists or persons intending to start industrial undertakings.
Declaration of an area as Strategic Area
If requested by an Army officer not below the rank of Corp Commander in written, government can declare an area as Strategic Area within a local area.
This area will only be used for direct operational and training requirements of armed forces and may be excluded from the operation of this Act and rules/ regulations.
Restrictions on usage of agricultural lands
There are no restrictions on purchase of farm land by non-J&K agriculturists.
Through Centre has completely barred sale of agricultural land to “non-agriculturist”, but it has provided for several situations under which sale can still happen.
Such land can be transferred to Government or a Company or a Corporation or a Board established, owned and controlled by the Government or a Government Company.
- For ‘public purposes’. Such transfers can also happen in favor of public trusts for ‘charitable purposes’.
- Promotion of healthcare or senior secondary or higher or specialized education
All such “non-agriculturists” would have to use the allotted land only for purposes intended during allotment and would never be recognized as agriculturists.
Dilution of restrictions on conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural land
- Earlier such conversion could only be done only with the permission of the Revenue Minister. It can now be done with the permission of the District Collector.
- Special protection has been given to grazing land or those that grow fuel and fodder. Albeit they too can be converted with the Collector’s permission.
Law is not applicable to the Union Territory of Ladakh. A separate law will be notified for the same.
Gupkar Alliance has termed this law as a massive assault on the rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.