Industry, Central officers may be immediate beneficiaries
*Development to be major focus
JAMMU, Nov 21: A high-level team handling with the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir in the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has been holding regular meetings in the North Block and was also in constant touch with the UT administration before formally issuing guidelines on protection of land and jobs of the locals.
“Guidelines are being framed in such a manner that they suit inhabitants of Jammu and Kashmir but at the same time ensures development of the newly created Union Territory,” sources told the Excelsior and said there could be separate set of guidelines for the Union Territories of Jammu and Ladakh.
According to sources privy to the development, the industries and their employees, Defence personnel and Central Government officers posted in Jammu and Kashmir including IAS and IPS and their children might be made eligible for purchase of land in the Union Territory of J&K.
For rest of the outsiders, 15-year bar of residing in Jammu and Kashmir could be imposed for purchase of land, sources said, adding that the guidelines were still being framed and they could undergo certain changes before being finalized by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs headed by BJP president Amit Shah, whose Ministry had introduced Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill in the Parliament on August 5 proposing scrapping of special Constitutional provisions of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir and its bifurcation into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh.
“The residents of Jammu and Kashmir including those who were deprived of the citizenship rights in Jammu and Kashmir under the garb of special Constitutional provisions of erstwhile State will be issued domicile certificates, whose format is being drafted by the Ministry of Home Affairs in consultations with the Union Territory administration, and they will have all rights to purchase and sell their land,” sources said.
According to sources, the industry was likely to be exempted from any kind of restrictions in purchase of land as this will facilitate employment opportunities in the Union Territory, which was prime aim of the Central Government and the UT administration.
Sources pointed out that definition of bonafide resident of Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory could resemble to neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, where there is also bar on purchase of land for individuals.
“A bonafide Himachali is a person who has a permanent home in Himachal Pradesh, as also a person who has been residing in Himachal Pradesh for a period not less than 15 years, or a person who has a permanent home in Himachal Pradesh but on account of his occupation is living outside Himachal Pradesh,” the guidelines of a bonafide Himachali state.
The Union Home Ministry is also working on fixing cap on the Government jobs in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir for the bonafide residents.
The guidelines were expected to be issued shortly, sources said but added that there could be altogether a different set of guidelines for the Union Territory of Ladakh taking into account regional aspirations of the people of Leh and Kargil, the two districts which comprised the Union Territory.
Worthwhile to mention here that the Union Territory administration in Jammu and Kashmir is waiting for issuance of guidelines by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on land and jobs, which have become core issues.
According to sources, a high-level team in the Ministry of Home Affairs has been holding regular sittings in the North Block and was also in constant touch with the Union Territory administration before finalization of the guidelines.
The task was almost complete and the guidelines were expected to be issued anytime, they added.