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J&K: Modi Govt’s New Land Policy for state Overturns 7 Decades of Land Reform.

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Modi Govt. on Tuesday notified the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization (Adaptation of Central Laws) Third Order, enabling a host of new changes to the former state.

Under the new arrangements, no domicile or permanent resident certificate is required to purchase non-agricultural land in the UT. The Union home ministry has also notified the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016, paving way for the acquisition of land in J&K by all Indian citizens. Previously, article 35-A of J&K Constitution, watered down on August 5, 2019, placed prohibitions on the sale of land to those who were not state subjects.

The latest order also empowers the government to declare any area in J&K as ‘strategic’ and intended for the direct operational and training requirement of the armed forces at the behest of an army officer of or above the rank of a corps commander.

If all of this is part of the BJP’s long-standing agenda of ending J&K’s ‘special status’, there is another change that many in the rest of India may not realise the significance of: the government’s order has also abolished the historic Big Land Estate Abolition Act, 1950 – under whose aegis the former state witnessed the radical redistribution of land which paved way for rural prosperity and ended landlordism in J&K.

The fresh enactments have provoked anger in the Union Territory, where suspicions abound that the Centre is gradually disempowering the local population and consolidating control through untrammeled executive power. For more than two years now, J&K has been without an elected government. All the changes being introduced in the UT have been steamrolled by Centre rather than being legislated by elected representatives of the people.

The MHA has revoked 12 state laws as a whole while another 26 have been adapted with changes or substitutes. Laws which are repealed as a whole include the Jammu and Kashmir Alienation of Land Act, Jammu and Kashmir Big Landed Estates Abolition Act, Jammu and Kashmir Common Lands (Regulation) Act 1956, Jammu and Kashmir Consolidation of Holdings Act 1962, Jammu and Kashmir Right of Prior Purchase Act, and the Jammu and Kashmir Utilization of Lands Act.

“The changes represent the operational aspect of the big measure taken in August last year,” said Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmiri political analyst. “They have taken the repealing of Article 370 and 35-A to its logical conclusion. It was bound to happen. The order is very long. It will take time even for experts to parse through it before they finally wrap their minds around the kind of alteration that has been wrought. But prima facie, the changes enunciated in the order seem to correspond to the larger objectives being plotted with respect to the demographics of J&K.”

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ICICI Bank sets up presence in Nepal

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ICICI bank, apex consumer commission, Rs two lakh, ATM fraud, Business news

Lending major ICICI Bank on Thursday launched its operations in Nepal, via a representative office, to become the first Indian private sector bank to set up its presence in the country.

The bank opened a representative office in Kathmandu which will closely work with the domestic banks in Nepal to facilitate investment, trade, payments and treasury business between the two countries.

According to the bank, the current foray has expanded its global footprint to 15 countries including India.

“India and Nepal have significant trade and investment links between them. We believe that ICICI Bank’s on-ground presence through the new representative office coupled with its strong business partnerships with banks in Nepal, will help us further our participation in the economic flows between the two countries,” said Sriram H. Iyer, Head – International Banking Group, ICICI Bank.

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