The Centre on Tuesday told Parliament that two people from outside Jammu and Kashmir have purchased properties in the union territory since August 2019 when the region was stripped of its special status that prevented non-residents from doing so.
“As per the information provided by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, two persons from outside J&K (Jammu and Kashmir) have purchased two properties in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir since August 2019,” union minister of state (home affairs) Nityanand Rai said in a written reply in Lok Sabha. Rai did not provide details of the properties or about their owners.
Asked about any hardship and impediments being faced by the people of other states while buying properties in Jammu and Kashmir, Rai said that no such instance has been reported.
The Centre in October last year notified rules allowing outsiders to buy non-agricultural land in Jammu & Kashmir. Non-residents were barred from buying or owning immovable property in Jammu and Kashmir, settling there permanently, or availing benefits of state-sponsored scholarship schemes before the nullification of Article 35A in August 2019. The constitutional provision gave special rights to Jammu and Kashmir’s permanent residents.
The Centre in October 2020 Issued a gazette notification omitting the phrase “permanent resident of the state” from Section 17 of the Jammu and Kashmir Development Act that deals with the disposal of land in the union territory. In subsection 2, the notification substituted the “whole of the State” with the “whole of the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir”. It also notified to omit “being the permanent resident of the State”, paving the way for everyone to buy land. The agricultural land has been reserved for farmers.