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Auctioning lease land, properties will be source of ‘chaos’ ‘unemployment, say J&K business

Srinagar, Dec 21, KNT: The New Land Grant Rules are going to ‘badly’ hit the big as well as the small fish involved in business activities in Jammu and Kashmir. This is what the business community is feeling.

Jammu and Kashmir Government recently notified Land Grant Rules-2022 asking the owners of the properties on lease land to evacuate immediately.

In Kashmir alone, hotels, shops, malls, and other structures have sprung up on over 17,000 kanals of lease land. “Their eviction means chaos and certainly it will become a major source of unemployment in coming days,” said a top businessman from Kashmir Valley.

“This move is being termed by the government in the interest of the common masses, but we have to understand that business in Kashmir is already gasping for survival and even top-notch local businessmen have no purchasing power when the properties or land will be auctioned online,” he added.

Land in Jammu and Kashmir can be leased for different sectors including tourism, education, healthcare, and recreational purposes and it can be offered to ex-servicemen, war widows, families of deprived categories, migrant workers, building and construction workers, and sufferers of natural calamities.

“At least 2 lakh people will get hit if the lease land and properties are auctioned. There will be chaos all over. It’s not a question of big hotels only but even small shopkeepers running their business on lease land will lose their source of living. In Pahalgam, hundreds of small shopkeepers are doing business on lease land,” prominent businessman from Valley Naseem Chaya told the news agency Kashmir News Trust.

He added that its not only hotels, but even petrol pumps and hospitals exist on lease land in Jammu and Kashmir.

There are over 50 small and big hotels in Gulmarg existing on the leased land. Over a dozen hotels are in Pahalgam. Hundreds of shopping complexes have also sprung on the leased land.

“The Government has to review its decision. We have already taken up the matter with the people who are at the helm of affairs and we will go public after our meeting and discussion on the issue,” a businessman who is part of Jammu Chambers of Commerce and Industries told KNT.

LG Manoj Sinha has said the move is aimed at benefiting the common masses, however, the majority of political leaders have decried the move and claimed it would cause further ‘disempowerment’ of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. [KNT]

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