First-ever real estate summit held in J&K, 39 MoUs signed

The Center and J&K government held the first ever ‘Real Estate Summit 2021’ in Jammu on Monday to encourage people from across India to invest in real estate and property in Jammu and Kashmir. 

Before Jammu and Kashmir was stripped of its special status and statehood, outsiders, classified as non-permanent residents, were barred from buying immovable property in J&K, applying for government jobs and taking part in elections. 

The summit was told that under the new J&K Development Act, the term ‘being a permanent resident of the state’ as a criteria has been omitted to pave the way for investors from outside to invest there. 

The summit was organized by the Union ministry for housing and urban affairs in collaboration with the J&K government. During the summit, 39 memorandum of understandings (MOUs) were signed, half of them on construction of residential homes. 

The J&K government called the summit a “historic transformation in J&K”, and said it had changed laws in the Union territory to allow investment from outside. 

The summit comes in the wake of the recent decision by the government to permit sale and purchase of non-agricultural land. 

The changes made in the land use laws allowed re-classifying of agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes. Regional parties criticized the decision and said the changes in land use were made to settle non-locals in J&K. 

J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said a similar event will be held in Srinagar in May next year. He said the government is committed to “break all walls that create hurdles” in making the UT on par with other parts of India. 

He said all hotels, guest houses and lodges in Kashmir are booked due to the huge tourist influx in Kashmir at present. “I get three to four calls from people and friends to arrange hotels for them as all hotels are booked in Kashmir. There is a need to have more hotels and guest houses in Kashmir to accommodate more tourists.” 

He said the Union territory will have a Central secretariat very soon. 

The summit witnessed the signing of 20 MOUs for development of housing projects, seven others for commercial, four for hospitality, three for infra-tech, three for film and entertainment and two for finance related projects. Some of the major real estate companies that attended the summit included Signature Global, Samyak Group, Raunak Group, Hiranandani Constructions for housing projects. Chalet Hotels Limited signed an MoU for hospitality, Raheja Developers, Goel Ganga, GHP Group and Shree Naman Group signed for housing projects. 

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