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Has Jammu actually gained anything since abrogation of Article 370?

Last Updated on November 23, 2020 at 6:36 pm

It was believed by many that while the Kashmiris opposed the major decision taken on August 5, 2019 whereas there was a wave of happiness in Jammu as people in the region saw it as a move to end the political hegemony of Kashmiri leadership.

However, a blow to the happiness of the people of Jammu came in the form of the new set of land laws. In the lack of any law to safeguard their interests over land issues and job security, the people of Jammu are skeptical whether the moves related to Article 370 have benefited them or not.

People are uncertain about the utility of recently introduced “domicile certificates” which will replace the earlier Permanent Resident Certificates (PRCs) which were being issued by the erstwhile Maharajas. The new land laws introduced by the Central government make the purchase of non-agricultural land by the non-residents possible. The Central government has not done anything significant in terms of job production or employment for the youth of Jammu other than just giving them verbal assurances.

Narender Singh, Former Jammu Mayor, asked where is the promised land protection like Himachal? Where is the jobs reservation  for the locals? BJP ruled states like Haryana and Uttarakhand provide more jobs reservation. What is the crime of the people of Jammu?

The people of Jammu fear that ultimately Jammu would start to act like a dumping ground and the local people will come under pressure. If safeguards are not applied then reverse migration will take place as people from outside the UT would dominate the region.

Manik Batra, chairman of J& K chapter of ASSOCHAM and director of the Batra Group said that many of the factories in the region have already closed as they couldn’t compete with products which are being imported from other parts of the nation which have become cheaper as toll tax on imports got removed. The Government must protect local industry and trade.

The Government’s approach in dealing with the domicile laws and new provisions has added to the problems of the local. The issuance of new domicile certificates in place of the earlier PRC has added to the woes of the people. It seems to have no significance after introduction of the new land rules. People stood in lines for hours and in many cases had to use other means to get the certificates. Suddenly the certificates lost their value.