A notification was issued by the Government of India stating that any Indian citizen may now purchase land in municipal areas of Jammu and Kashmir without becoming a domicile, except for agriculture.
According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the ‘Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020’ shall come into force with immediate effect, and “will encourage development in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir”.
After the J&K’s special status under Article 370 of the Constitution was withdrawn on 5 August 2019, the reorganisation Act bifurcated the erstwhile state into two union territories — J&K and Ladakh.
According to the notification, for the first time, the spouse of a J&K domicile shall also be deemed as a domicile.
Earlier, spouses of Permanent Resident Cardholders were considered at par but were not considered domiciles. Children of central government officials posted for over ten years in Jammu and Kashmir will also continue to be considered domiciles.
J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said, my government is committed to peace, progress and prosperity. “We want that like other parts of India, industries should be set up in J&K,” he added.
Under the ‘transfer of land for the purpose of promotion of healthcare or education’, the government may now allow the transfer of land “in favour of a person or an institution for the purpose of promotion of healthcare or senior secondary or higher or specialized education in J&K”.
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,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the J&K political parties called the notification “unacceptable” and said it would affect small land-owning farmers in the territory of the Union.