No less than 39 memoranda of understanding, or memoranda of understanding, worth Rs 18,300 crore, were signed at the “Real Estate Summit-2021” held in Jammu on Monday, the government said. of Jammu and Kashmir.
The summit was a push to attract real estate investment from across the country. In October last year, the Union Home Office introduced sweeping changes to Jammu and Kashmir’s land laws, which now allow any Indian citizen to purchase land in the region.
The changes in the laws formally ended the protection of land rights that were previously guaranteed to long-time residents of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 35A of the Constitution. The provision was repealed in August 2019, along with article 370 of the Constitution which granted special status to the former state.
Since the repeal of land protection rights, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir has announced new industrial, film and real estate policies to facilitate investment in these sectors.
The 39 MoUs signed at Monday’s summit include investments in the residential, commercial, infrastructure and cinema sectors, the administration of Jammu and Kashmir said in a statement. The next such summit will be held in Srinagar in May 2022, the statement added.
The event was attended by Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh and Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha.
Addressing the event, Puri said the investments will create opportunities for economic growth in Jammu and Kashmir, with the real estate sector being the country’s second largest employer. Sinha described the event as a âhistoric milestoneâ for the real estate sector in the Union Territory.
However, regional party leaders criticized the move as a threat to the region’s demographics.
âWhile offering to secure the land, jobs, domicile laws and identity of the people of Ladakh, J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] is on sale, âNational Conference chief Omar Abdullah said in a tweet. âThe people of Jammu should beware, ‘investors’ will buy land in Jammu long before Kashmir. “
People’s Democratic Party leader Mehbooba Mufti claimed that Jammu and Kashmir’s special status had been revoked to “dehumanize, dispossess and weaken the only predominantly Muslim state in India.”
In a tweet, she added: âThe GOI [government of Indiaâs] the brazen loot and the sale of our resources shows that the only motive is to annihilate our identity and change the demographics. “
Change in J&K land laws
Four major land laws in Jammu and Kashmir were used to preserve land in the hands of permanent residents: the Jammu and Kashmir Land Alienation Act, 1938, the Land Abolition Act, 1950, the Jammu and Kashmir Land Concessions Act, 1960, and the Jammu and Kashmir Land Reform Act 1976.
When the provisions were overhauled in October last year, the first two laws were abolished, while in the other two the âpermanent residentâ clause was removed from the articles regulating the lease and transfer of land.
The changes removed all provisions that prohibited people from outside the former state from purchasing land in the area.
However, the changes did not generate much interest from people outside Jammu and Kashmir to buy land in Union territory. In response to a question on the matter, Home Secretary Nityanand Rai told parliament during the recent winter session that only seven plots of land were bought in Jammu and Kashmir by foreigners.