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Land reforms fuel development in Kashmir, revamping agriculture and allied sectors

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], October 9 (ANI): Key amendments made to four major state laws that governed the ownership, sale, and purchase of land have fuelled development in Kashmir, revamping agriculture and allied sectors.

The amendments to the J-K Development Act, 1970; J-K Land Revenue Act, 1996; Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976; and J-K Land Grants Act, 1960 have helped in boosting the agriculture sector, fostering rapid industrialisation, aiding economic growth and creating jobs, according to a report in Asian Lite International.

The report said the people of Jammu and Kashmir are rejoicing the new land laws geared towards the development of the Union Territory. According to the new laws, the agricultural land can only be sold to an agriculturist, who has been defined as a person who cultivates land personally in the UT.

The term ‘agriculture land’ unambiguously is defined to include not just agriculture but horticulture and allied agro-activities as well. The most extensive definition includes not just horticulture but poultry, and animal husbandry, among others.

The designation of land for industrial purposes will open up greater employment opportunities for the youth who have longed for the industrial revolution in J-K so that they can get better employment scope, it said.

In a notification in October last year, the Home Ministry announced several amendments to land laws, including the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act of 1970, which till now entitled only permanent residents to purchase or sell property in the erstwhile state.

The MHA notification said 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”.

In August 2019, the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and Article 35A was revoked.

According to the amendment to the Land Revenue Act, anyone from any part of the country can now buy land in J-K, including agricultural land.

Though the amendments prohibit the sale, transfer, mortgage and conversion of agricultural land to a non-agriculturist in the UT, it can still be allowed, “provided that the Government or an officer authorized by it in this behalf may grant permission to an agriculturist to alienate the land to a non-agriculturist by way of sale, gift, exchange or mortgage”.

The Jammu and Kashmir Land Grants Act, 1960, which regulates the grant of government land on lease and earlier applied to urban areas of Jammu, Srinagar and towns, will now be extended to the entire UT.

The amendment omits the permanent resident clause to get government land on lease for “residential purposes”.

The J-K Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976, which provided for the transfer of land from big landowners to tillers, has been amended.

The erstwhile agrarian reforms Act stated that only up to two kanals (0.25 acre) of land could be held per family for residential purposes. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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