No outsider bought land in Jammu and Kashmir under new land laws, Centre tells Parliamentary panel

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More than a year and half into abrogation of Article 370 and nearly five months since the notification of new land laws enabling non-state subjects to purchase land in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state, no outsider has purchased land in the Union Territory so far, The Hindu reported on Wednesday quoting a Ministry of Home Affairs’ report to a parliamentary panel.

The ministry had in October notified new land laws for the Union Territory paving way for any Indian citizen to buy land in the region otherwise set aside for only the permanent residents of erstwhile J&K state under Article 370 abrogated by the Centre on August 5, 2019. The new domicile rules, which replaced the erstwhile state subject, were notified in May last year.

As per The Hindu report, the MHA told the parliamentary panel that “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 MHA claimed that “456 MoUs have been signed amounting to ₹23,152.17 crore” investment into J&K.

It told the panel that “agricultural land was being protected in J&K on similar lines as that of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh” even as the land “has been opened up for industries [in the latter States],” The Hindu report said.

“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 MHA reportedly told the panel.

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