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No outsider has bought land in J&K: Centre tells parliamentary panel

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The Ministry of Home Affairs told a parliamentary panel that no person from outside Jammu and Kashmir has purchased land in the Union Territory so far, The Hindu reported on Wednesday.

The ministry had notified new land laws for the Union Territory in October, making it possible for any Indian citizen to buy land in the region. The land in Jammu and Kashmir was earlier meant only for the permanent residents under Article 370, which was abrogated by the Centre on August 5, 2019.

In its report to the panel, the home ministry said that agricultural land was being protected in Jammu and Kashmir on similar lines as that in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. It, however, said that the land has been opened up for industries in the latter two states.

“This has been one of the reasons why J&K, unlike Himachal and Uttarakhand, has not benefited from any industrial package in the past because till one has title to a land, industry cannot be set up,” the report said.

The ministry also said that a land bank of 6,000 acres was “contemplated to be developed” for industries, adding that 3,000 acres for it has been identified.

On an enquiry by the panel about the number of proposals of investment received in the Union Territory, the ministry said that 456 MoUs amounting to Rs 23,152.17 crore have been signed.

The ministry also told the panel that the administration has identified over 22,000 government jobs but recruitment was yet to take place. The vacant jobs include only 533 gazetted posts and 21,846 Class IV posts, it said.

In August 2019, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had identified 50,000 jobs and said that it would be filled up soon. The number of such vacancies stood above 84,000, according to a report tabled in Parliament in March last year.

According to a report tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has constituted an Accelerated Recruitment Committee to identify vacancies and fill them on an immediate basis.


In a reply to a separate question in the Rajya Sabha, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said on Wednesday that around 3,800 Kashmiri migrant candidates have returned to Kashmir in the last few years to take up jobs under the Prime Minister’s rehabilitation package.

The minister said that 520 migrant candidates returned to the Union Territory take up jobs under the rehabilitation package after the abrogation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“Another nearly 2,000 migrant candidates are also likely to return under the same policy in the year 2021 on successful completion of the Selection process,” Reddy said.