Other States

New Jammu and Kashmir laws protect over 90% of land: government

Principal Secretary and J&K Government spokesperson Rohit Kansal. File   | Photo Credit: NISSAR AHMAD

In the face of growing anxiety and protests in regions of Jammu and Kashmir, the J&K administration on Monday said the recently introduced land laws “will afford protection to over 90% of the land in the Union Territory (UT)” as the previous laws were “anti-people”.

“The new land laws will not only afford protection to over 90% of the land in J&K from being alienated to outsiders but will also help revamp the agriculture sector, foster rapid industrialization, aid economic growth and create jobs in J&K”, government spokesman and Principal Secretary, Information, Rohit Kansal, said in Jammu.

On the move to repeal 11 land laws of the erstwhile State , Mr. Kansal described them as “old, regressive, intrinsically contradictory and outdated laws”.

“A number of laws had contradictions leading to scope for discretionary interpretation and rent seeking e.g. ‘Family’ was defined differently in different laws, provision of alienation and conversion of land were different in different laws and the ceiling of 182 kanals fixed in Big Landed Estates Abolition Act was superseded by 100 standard kanals in the Agrarian Reforms act, 1976, yet both provisions continued to coexist creating contradiction and confusion”, he said.

The Hindu Explains | Who can buy or sell land in J&K, and what are the other rules governing it?

The new land laws were modern and progressive “while affording adequate protection against alienation of land to outsiders”, he asserted.

“A number of protections have been built into the new land laws on similar lines as has been enacted in other States such as Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. No agricultural land can be transferred to any person from outside the UT of J&K”, he noted.

‘Lot of misinformation’

Without naming any political party, he said that a variety of reactions from political parties and others that J&K was on sale was because of a lot of misinformation or lack of clarity.

Mr. Kansal, however, did not divulge anything on the rules under which agriculture land could be used for non-agriculture purposes on approval of Collectors.

Also read: Kashmiri Pandit organisations welcome new land laws in J&K

The administration has set up a Board of Revenue to “regulate use of land, alienation and conversion, land lease, consolidation and contract farming”.

Protest foiled

A protest organised by the Civil Society Forum (CSF), headed by Qayoom Wani, was foiled by the police on Monday.

Mr. Wani, who was detained ahead of the protest, said, “The administration needs to listen that people are pressured into submission by aggressive tactics. People will not sell the land to non state subjects”.

Mr. Wani, a former PDP leader, said J&K “has been put on sale”. “There is an attack on our culture, our resources and on everyone of us. We demand that the government should make changes in the land laws”, he added.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 8:33:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/new-jammu-and-kashmir-laws-protect-over-90-of-land-government/article33005348.ece

Next Story