13:36 GMT25 November 2020
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    India's BJP-led central government has been introducing major changes to the administration of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting criticism from regional political parties, since the annulment of the region's special status in August 2019 that provided semi-autonomy to the erstwhile state.  

    Days after the political parties of Jammu and Kashmir signed the Gupkar declaration aimed to restore the semi-autonomous status of the Union Territory; the New Delhi government notified them of the implementation of new land laws.

    The new order, called Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, 2020 will allow people from outside Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh to buy land there. Until now, the permanent residents of the region held the sole right to acquire the land.

    However, agricultural land won't be available for sale.

    "We want, like other parts of India, that there is development in the industrial sector. Agriculture land will be protected," Lieutenant General of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha said regarding the new land laws in the region.

    Protesting the move, former Chief of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah called the laws "unacceptable amendments" and said the poor land powers will suffer from the changes. 

    The order comes into force with immediate effect, said the government release.

    Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) empowered the Jammu and Kashmir administration to impose property taxes through the local bodies. If the administration acts on it, the citizens of Jammu and Kashmir would have to pay property taxes for the first time ever. The move also led to protests from regional political parties.

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    Tags:
    laws, Ladakh region, Jammu and Kashmir, India
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