September 19, 2023

NC denounces changes to regulations on farmland conversions

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference on Friday denounced amendments to regulations aimed at converting farmland to non-farm use, saying the measures have rekindled fears about the motives behind the moves.

This was stated by party spokesman Imran Nabi Dar while strongly opposing the new land use regulation ordinance. “Fear of demographic change has never been far from people’s minds and this change in land use will only reinforce those fears. Apart from the fact that this land use conversion does not even require the fifteen-year residency certificate as a prerequisite, will also revive fears of demographic change,” he said.

“Jammu and Kashmir is rapidly losing its ‘food independence’ as its reliance on imports peaked at around 1 lakh metric tonnes in 2016-17. This will further aggravate the already growing deficit of food grains in the region. This decision will aggravate the foodgrain deficit and make it more difficult to find solutions to the already latent crisis,” he added.

The party spokesperson said that in April 2012, the J&K High Court passed directions against misuse of farmland, sensing the enormity of the crises.

“Ours is a high altitude region, where land holdings are very limited. Farmers in Jammu and Kashmir are officially recognized as marginal farmers due to very small farms estimated at 0.55 hectares in the agricultural census. This measure will push them even more against the wall,” he said, calling for an immediate withdrawal of the amendment.