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J&K set for another gear; MHA dismissed 11 existing land laws

The MHA in its notification on 26th October 2020, introduced some new land laws and dismissed the existing 11 land laws. The new land laws empower non-resident of the UT of J&K to buy urban and non-agricultural land.

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On 26th October 2020, the Ministry of Home Affairs in its notification introduced new land laws, amended some existing laws related to land, and abolished 11 existing land laws which includes the J&K Alienation of Land Act, J&K Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, J&K Common Lands (Regulation) Act 1962, Right of Prior Purchase Act and Utilization of Lands Act. According to the new reforms

-the spouses of the domicile of J&K will now be considered as the domicile of J&K.

– the children of central government employees posted for more than 10 years in J&K will be given the status of domicile/resident of J&K.

– Any non-resident of J&K can buy urban and non-agricultural land in J&K, though the government may willingly put some restrictions on the purchase of land in some cases. Under the recently presented J&K Development Act, the term “being a permanent resident of the State” as a criterion has been omitted.

-Under the laws, an Army officer not less than Corps Commander can notify an area as “Strategic Area” within a local area, only for direct operational and training requirements of the armed forces.

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-Government added to section 16 of the land acquisition rehabilitation and resettlement act 2013, according to which, land may be acquired for the development-related work for which ‘J&K Industrial Development Corporation’ will be constituted, which will be empowered to acquire the mobile and immobile property of Union Territory of J&K.

-Centre introduced section 133(h) to the Agrarian reforms act 1976 according to which, Agricultural land cannot be sold for non-agricultural activities. However Agricultural land may be transferred to a person or organization to encourage health care and educational facilities. The land may also be transferred to the government, board, or any company for the public sector or charitable work. The Agricultural land can only be transferred with the permission of the government. The use of agricultural land for a non-agricultural purpose will be a matter of permission from the district collector. However, owners of the agricultural land will have to pay the fixed charge for the conversion to non-agricultural land with the permission of the district collector.

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– The land purchased for non-agricultural purposes must be used within 5 years of acquisition. However, this limit can be relaxed for 2 more years by the government with a penalty.

The people of J&K however aren’t happy and have expressed their agony on social media.

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