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Bukhari opposes changes in land use

“Such policy decisions are the prerogative of an elected government and the present dispensation should desist from taking such unilateral moves that put a question mark on its mandate,” Bukhari said.

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Srinagar: Apni Party President Altaf Bukhari on Saturday demanded the immediate rollback of the J&K government’s decision to change land-use laws, saying it is loaded with far-reaching consequences and the issue should be left to an elected government.

Former Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah had on Friday hit out at the changes.

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Taking strong exception to the changes, Bukhari sought their rollback, a party statement said.

Bukhari said the agricultural land in Jammu and Kashmir is supposed to be safeguarded by the government against any fiddling with its land-use status.

He regretted that many “arbitrary decisions” have been rolled out, leading to people’s alienation.

“Such policy decisions are the prerogative of an elected government and the present dispensation should desist from taking such unilateral moves that put a question mark on its mandate,” Bukhari said.

He said that in view of the assurances given by the Centre and in light of the directions of the Supreme Court and the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir, no permission should be granted for conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes, especially for non-domiciles of J&K.

“The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has also barred conversion of agricultural land in J&K in view of the fast-shrinking agricultural landmass and its repercussions on overall crop production that has witnessed a drastic fall in the last many years,” he said.

Bukhari said the latest decision on land use policy will open floodgates for non-agricultural activities and will further increase the dependency of the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the import of food grains.

The J&K government on Thursday introduced changes to the land use pattern, lifting the ban on conversion of agricultural land for non-farm purposes.

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