Good Governance: New land laws acting as cushion for development across J&K

SRINAGAR — The new land laws are being hailed by the people of Jammu and Kashmir as a major step towards the development and progress of entire J&K.

The new land laws introduced in Jammu and Kashmir replaced some outdated, regressive, intrinsically contradictory land laws with a set of modern, progressive, and people-friendly provisions. The historic initiative of the government is revamping agriculture and allied sectors besides ensuring holistic development of all sectors.

Nearly one year after abrogation of Article 370, a temporary provision in the Constitution, the Centre abolished 7-decade old “Big Land Estates Abolition Act 1950,” under which the erstwhile princely state witnessed the redistribution of land to end Zamindari system.

In October 2020, the Centre notified the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, enabling a host of new changes to the erstwhile state.

The implementation of the new law opened up Jammu and Kashmir to the world as it provided that anyone who wanted to buy non-agricultural land in J&K didn’t require a permanent resident certificate.

The Union Home Ministry also notified the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, paving the way for the acquisition of land in J&K by all Indian citizens. Prior to the implementation of this Act, the Article 35-A of J&K Constitution, which was scrapped on August 5, 2019, placed prohibitions on the sale of land to those who were non-state subjects.

Notably, after the new land reforms were introduced and implemented, the J&K Government organized the first-ever real estate summit in Jammu in December 2021 in which 39 Memorandum of Understanding worth Rs 18,300 crore were signed with the country’s real estate investors for the development of housing and commercial projects in the Union Territory.

Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha also held consultations with top officials and team from the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI) including the members of its elected council, president and vice-presidents, office-bearers of Economic Growth and Development Dialogue (LEAD) and town planning consultants to chalk out the modalities for the second Real Estate Summit to be held in Srinagar.

The land reforms and the digitisation of land records in Jammu and Kashmir have proven to be major steps towards systematic growth of urban and rural areas in J&K.

The aim of the Government is to create robust urban infrastructure, and improve the system of public service delivery for quality living. Experts are studying the model of other cities to create affordable, inclusive, ecologically sustainable housing equipped with the best essential basic services for a common man.

The efforts are on to transform the landscape of real estate across ‘Naya Jammu and Kashmir’ and the people are supporting each and every move of the government to transform the Himalayan region, which remained deprived of progress and prosperity due to Article 370 remaining in vogue for 70-years.

Jammu and Kashmir Government also assured protections and safeguards for the land rights after the introduction of new land laws in the Union Territory.

The new land laws will not only afford protection to over 90% of the land in J&K from being alienated but will also help revamp the agriculture sector, foster rapid industrialization, aid economic growth and create jobs in J&K.

The designation of land for industrial purposes will open up greater employment avenues for the youth who have always yearned for the industrial revolution in J&K so that they can get better employment opportunities.