Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir’s spokesperson, Rohit Kansal has said that the union territory’s new land laws would protect over 90% of land from being alienated, revamp agriculture sector, foster rapid industrialization, aid economic growth and create jobs.
“Jammu and Kashmir’s 11 repealed laws and four before modification were contradictory and outdated and have been replaced recently with modern, progressive and people friendly laws,” he said.
Kansal said repealed laws were meant to serve the old agrarian economy and had to be modified for modern economic needs.
Besides, he added, they were beset with ambiguities, contradictions and redundancies. “A number of protections have been built into the new land laws on similar lines as in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.”
“No agricultural land can be transferred to any person outside the UT and can be sold only to an agriculturist in J&K…there was need to make land laws simpler to avoid litigation, corruption and contradictions,” he said, adding that reactions from political parties and others were a result of lack of clarity or misinformation.
“There are now provisions for setting up of a board of revenue, regional planning for regulating use of land, alienation and conversion, land lease, consolidation and contract farming,” he said.
The new laws would modernize land management, a major step towards development and progress of J&K that would result in rapid industrialization and open up employment avenues for the youth, he said.
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration and the Hurriyat Conference have alleged that the new laws were akin to putting ‘Kashmir on sale.’ “It was aimed at changing J&K’s demography and dispossess locals of their land and resources,” they alleged.