Union government has notified new law to connect and integrate Kashmir to the rest of India. Unlike earlier situation now any residents from any states can purchase land except agricultural land in Kashmir. Earlier, only residents of Jammu and Kashmir were allowed to purchase land in the state.
But the Centre’s move in August last year, scrapping the state’s special powers under the Article 370 of the Constitution and its bifurcation into two Union Territories, paved the way for the change.
In a gazette notification, the Centre has omitted the phrase “permanent resident of the state” from Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act, which deals with the disposal of land in the Union Territory.
Lieutenant-Governor Manoj Sinha clarified in a press meet that agricultural lands are exempted from the new law. “I want to say this forcefully and with full responsibility that agricultural land has been kept reserved for farmers; no outsider will come on those lands.”
“The industrial areas that we have defined we want that like the rest of the country, industries too come here so that Jammu and Kashmir also develops and employment is generated,” he added. As expected this new law has invited protests from local political parties stating the reason that the union government has put Kashmir for sale.