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Agricultural Land Law Reforms: A Boost to All Communities of Jammu and Kashmir

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph
Farmer tilling the land
Farmer tilling the land.

Ever since the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by the abolition of Article 370 and 35A in 2019 and the transformation of the state into two different union territories namely Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The land laws of the region have changed immensely, non-agricultural land was available for purchase for all Indians as the state was now a union territory.

However Agricultural land was still not up for sales to any non-agriculturists and this was surely a problem, a problem that stemmed from the J&K Land Alienation Act Svt.1995  that was a statutory provision that defined certain sections of the society as the agriculturist class who alone were eligible to own agricultural lands, this had lead to resentment and lots of demands from Mahajans, Khatris and Sikhs for the right of sale-purchase of agriculture land for investment in agriculture and allied activities. 

This provision was abolished in a meeting on Tuesday this week when the Administrative Council (AC), which met under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha

authorized the District Collectors to grant permission to an agriculturist to alienate land to a non-agriculturist subject to certain conditions and procedures for extending primary activities on larger commercial lines and reap benefits under the economy of scale. This ruling empowers the Deputy Commissioners to sell up to 20 Kanals ( 2.5 Acres)  of land for agriculture and related businesses, and up to 80 Kanals (10 Acres) for horticultural orchards

The decision, according to the spokesman, satisfies long-standing demands from civil society for rights to sell and buy agricultural land for investment in agriculture and related enterprises.

“It is expected to assist in the revamping of the agriculture sector and aid economic growth to create employment in the primary sector of Jammu and Kashmir,” said the official spokesman of the Administrative council.

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