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Centre amends laws to allow people from outside to buy land in J&K

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Srinagar: In one of the most significant developments post abrogation of Article 370, the Centre on Tuesday paved way for any Indian citizen to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir.

More than a year after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35-A of the Constitution, the Centre has amended several land laws to enable the people from outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in the union territory.

In a gazette notification issued in Hindi and English, the Ministry of Home Affairs has made several changes to the land laws, including allowing use of agricultural land for setting up facilities of public purpose.

The most important tweak has been made in the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with disposal of land in the union territory as the Centre has omitted the phrase “permanent resident of the state” from Section 17 of the law.

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. However, the fresh changes have paved the way for non-residents to buy land in the union territory.

Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha told reporters that the amendments did not allow transfer of agricultural land to non-agriculturists.

However, there are several exemptions in the Act which enable transfer of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, including setting up of educational or health-care facilities.

The notification has replaced Section 30 and Part VII of the State Land Acquisition Act of 1990 with the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The other major laws repealed by the notification includes the J&K Big Landed Estates (abolition) Act, a landmark act brought in by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah that gave land rights to landless tillers.

The J&K Alienation of Land Act, 1995, the J& Common Lands (regulation) Act, 1956 and the J&K Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1962 were also repealed.

Other laws to be repealed are the J&K Prevention of Fragmentation of Agricultural Holdings Act, 1960; J&K Prohibition on Conversion of Land and Alienation of Orchards Act, 1975; the J&K Right of Prior Purchase ACT, 1936 A.D; Section 3 of the J&K Tenancy (Stay of Ejectment Proceedings) Act 1966; the J&K Utilisation of Land Act, 2010; and the J&K Underground Utilities (Acquisition of rights of user in land) Act.

The notification also maintains that government on the written request of an Army officer not below the rank of Corp Commander may declare an area as “strategic area” within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements of armed forces, which may be excluded from the operation of this Act and rules and regulations made there under in the manner and to the extent. (With PTI inputs)

Amendments pave way for establishing J&K Industrial Development Corporation

Jammu, Oct 27 (PTI) The Centre on Tuesday amended the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, 1970 for setting up an industrial development corporation for rapid establishment, growth and development of industries in the union territory.

The amendment to the Act was made through a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, which inserted a new chapter in the law for setting up the Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Development Corporation.

According to the notification, the Jammu and Kashmir Industrial Development Corporation will be set up for the purposes of securing and assisting in the rapid and orderly establishment, and organisation of industries in industrial areas and industrial estates in the union territory.

It will also help in establishing commercial centres in connection with the establishment and organisation of such industries.

The corporation, shall acquire and hold such property, both movable and immovable, for the performance of any of its activities, and to lease, sell, exchange or otherwise transfer any property held by it on such conditions as may be deemed proper, the notification stated.

It will establish and manage industrial estates, develop industrial areas and make them available for undertakings to establish themselves, the notification stated.

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