Two years after Article 370 revocation; JK govt opens up agriculture, horticulture, allied sector to all communities

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Express News Service

SRINAGAR: Over two years after abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, Jammu and Kashmir government on Tuesday opened up agriculture, horticulture, and allied sector to all communities in the Union Territory.

“The Administrative Council (AC), which met here today 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 procedure for extending primary activities on larger commercial lines and reap benefits under the economy of scale,” an official spokesman said.

He said J&K has a substantial potential for agriculture and allied sectors, which usually require land up to 80 kanal.

The decision allows the Deputy Commissioners to permit sale of land up to 20 kanals for agriculture and allied activities, and up to 80 kanal in the case of horticulture orchards.

“The entire process will be completed within 30 days of making an application to this effect,” the spokesman said.

He said opening up of agriculture, horticulture and allied sectors would provide people from non-agriculturist class the opportunity to acquire land for agriculture and allied activities and take up such activities as profession to systematically bring new investments in agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry sectors.

According to the official spokesman, there have been multiple demands by Mahajans, Khatris and Sikhs for the right of sale-purchase of agricultural land for investment in agriculture and allied activities.

Their resentment, he said, existed on the statutory provision that defined certain sections of the society as the agriculturist class who alone were eligible to own agricultural land under J&K Land Alienation Act Svt.1995.

As per the spokesman, the decision thus fulfils long pending demands from the civil society seeking rights for sale-purchase of the agricultural land for investment in agriculture and allied activities.

“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,” he said.

The centre on August 5, 2019 scrapped Articles 370 and 35A (which granted special status to J&K and barred outsiders from purchasing land and properties in J&K) and bifurcated J&K state into two Union Territories — Jammu and Kashmir (with legislature) and Ladakh (without legislature).



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