SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Friday denounced amends to regulations to convert agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, saying the measures have rekindled the fears about the motives behind such decisions.

This was stated by the party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar while taking strong exception to the fresh order on the land usage regulations. “The fear of demographic change has never been far from peoples’ minds and this change to the land use will only strengthen these fears. Besides the fact that this conversion of land use doesn’t even require the fifteen-year domicile certificate as a prerequisite, will also rekindle fears of demographic change,” he said.

“Jammu and Kashmir is fast losing its ‘food independence’ as its dependence on imports has reached to its highest level of about 1 lakh metric tons in 2016-17. This will further add to the already increasing food grain deficit in the region. The move will worsen the food grain deficit and make solutions to the already festering crisis more elusive,” he added.

The party Spokesperson said that in April 2012, the J&K High Court had passed directions against the misuse of agricultural land, sensing the enormity of crises.

“Ours is a high altitude region, where landholdings are very less. Farmers in Jammu and Kashmir are officially recognized as marginal farmers because of very small agricultural landholdings estimated at 0.55 hectares during the agriculture census. This measure will further push them to the wall,” he said, calling for an immediate rollback of the amendment.


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