No Outsider Purchased Land In Kashmir: Govt Tells MPs Panel

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Srinagar: Over a year after Modi government revoked semi autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir, no non-local has purchased land in the newly carved Union Territory despite the introduction of new laws that enable them to buy land, the Hindu reported Thursday.

The report based on the information provided by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to a parliamentary panel said that the J&K government had received memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for 18 private hospitals with investment of ₹3,200 crore and 33 proposals with an investment of ₹2,100 crore in the education sector.

In October last year, the Centre paved the way for people from across India to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir by amending several laws, more than a year after the nullification of Articles 370 and 35A of the Constitution.

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

According to the Hindu, the MPs panel was informed that agricultural land was being protected in J&K on similar lines as that of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. “However, the land has been opened up for industries [in the latter States].”

“This has been one of the reasons why J&K, unlike Himachal and Uttarakhand, has not benefited from any industrial package in the past because till one has title to a land, industry cannot be set up,” the report said.

It said that a land bank of 6,000 acres is “contemplated to be developed” for industries, of which “3,000 acres of land have already been identified.”

When asked about the proposals of investment received in the newly carved UT, and purchase of land by people from outside the State, the panel, according to the report was informed that “456 MoUs have been signed amounting to ₹23,152.17 crore”.

“Further, no person from outside has purchased land in J&K, since the industrial land allotment policy is in formulation and land allotment has not commenced,” the report said.

Pertinently, J&K has been under direct rule of New Delhi since 2018 after the BJP government withdrew support from Mehbooba Mufti led coalition government.

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