Centre opens Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh to the property market

Opposition leaders flay the Centre’s move to allow all Indian citizens to buy land in the UTs


“Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with when purchasing non-agricultural land & transfer of agricultural land has been made easier. J&K is now up for sale & the poorer small land holding owners will suffer,” stated J&K National Conference vice-president and former Chief Minister  Omar Abdullah said the decision would hit small land-owners.

“Unacceptable amendments to the land ownership laws of J&K. Even the tokenism of domicile has been done away with… J&K is now up for sale & the poorer small land holding owners will suffer,” said Abdullah.



His sharp reactions came quick on the heels of the announcement that the Union government had notified land laws, allowing any citizen if India to buy land in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. According to the government statement the ordertitied “Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020” comes into force right away. This is the second biggest notification to be enacted in the Union Territories of  Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh which came into being after the state was bifurcated and Article 370 abrogated on August 5, 2019. The first major order passed after the bifurcation was the Grant of Domicile Certificate (Procedure) Rules, 2020, done in September 2020, by the Jammu and Kashmir administration. 

According to a news report in The Print, with the latest notification anyone in India can now buy land in Jammu and Kashmir, but conditions apply. Agricultural land still cannot be bought. All other land can be purchased in  municipal areas of Jammu and Kashmir without being a domicile.

The UT’s opposition parties have flayed the notification calling it a “betrayal”, and under the aegis of the newly formed People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration issued this statement:





Under the latest notification, the spouse of a J&K domicile shall also be deemed as a domicile, reported The Print, children of central government officials posted for over ten years in Jammu and Kashmir will also continue to be considered domiciles.

While some non-Kashmiris are celebrating the opportunity to buy land in J&K, the local political parties have said that the notification will harm small small land-owning farmers in the union territory. According to news reports J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, has however said that agricultural land has been reserved for farmers and no one will interfere with it, and industrial areas will be given to “good industries”.

However, they state that agricultural land can be transferred with the government’s approval: “No sale, gift, exchange, or mortgage of any land will be valid in favour of a person who is not an agriculturist, unless the government or an officer authorised by it in this behalf may grant permission for the same”. According to the notification, using agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes can only be done “with prior permission from the government”, that is the district collector. The permission for conversion of land notified as ‘Saffron Belt’ is made according to the procedure prescribed under the Jammu and Kashmir Saffron Act, 2007, stated the news report. Any owner or occupant who wants to use agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes will have to  pay the conversion charges as prescribed. 

The notification may be read here:



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