New land rules bring J&K on a par with rest of India; old law was regressive: Lieutenant Governor

No poor will be impacted by the amendments to the land laws, says Manoj Sinha.

Updated - December 22, 2022 12:32 pm IST

Published - December 22, 2022 04:46 am IST - JAMMU

Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha addresses the media in Jammu on December 21, 2022.

Jammu and Kashmir Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha addresses the media in Jammu on December 21, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

Toughening the stand on newly-introduced land rules that has ended lease holders’ rights for extension in the Union Territory (UT), Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Wednesday said the land laws were “regressive” and “property worth ₹100 crore property was enjoyed at paltry ₹5”

“No poor will be impacted by the amendments to the land laws. Rule of law outside has to be implemented here too. J&K’s land laws were regressive and amendments were made. There were properties worth ₹100 crore being enjoyed for ₹ 5 as payment. Only such people are worried by the amendments,” Mr. Sinha said in Jammu.

The Land Grants Rules 2022 has paved the way to auction all commercial buildings on lease and land on lease in J&K. The Lieutenant-Governor said the fresh rules “have brought J&K at par with the rest of the country”.

Around 55 hotels out of 59 located at tourist hotspot Gulmarg in the Valley are likely to be auctioned afresh as their leases have ended.

Meanwhile, the Jammu Kashmir Hoteliers Club (JKHC) and the Chamber Of Commerce Industry Kashmir (CCIK) requested Mr. Sinha “to take on board all the concerned lease-based property holders to carry out negotiations in the interest of J&K’s economy”.

“Business and economic sectors across the J&K would come to a grinding halt if the rules are implemented. Many small, medium, and large-scale business owners, shopkeepers, and other commercial institutions throughout J&K will suffer severe consequences,” CCIK head Tariq Ghani said

Protesting Pandits asked to return to work

Meanwhile, Mr. Sinha asked protesting Pandits and other minority members from Jammu to resume duties in Kashmir.  

“Pandit employees had demanded a breathing period, which was granted. The salaries of migrant Pandits [working in the Kashmir valley] till August have been released. However, a loud and clear message must go that we cannot pay if they sit at home. We assure them security though,”Lieutenant-Governor said.

Hundreds of Pandit employees, who had opted Kashmir for their postings under the special employment package for migrant Pandits, left the Valley in May this year after a spree of killings of Pandits and employees from the minority community by militants.

Listing the measures taken for safety and security of Pandits, Mr. Sinha said, “Safe postings to district headquarters were done. Those in tehsils and rural departments were posted closer to cities. Two to three Pandits were posted together. A district-level officer was appointed to address grievances,” he said.

1,700 additional accommodations would be provided to Pandits.

Replying to a question on the threats issued by militants to Israel’s move to set up the Centre of Excellences in the UT, the Lieutenant-Governor said, “It’s for the J&K administration and the Centre to decide who has to stay and work in J&K. Those times are over when someone dictates.”

He said anyone found to be part of the terror ecosystem would be dealt with according to law and “their political affiliations will not matter”.

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