The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Thursday approved a 50% remission in stamp duty for those buying residential property for the first time in the Union Territory, PTI reported. The order will remain in effect till March 2024.

The Administrative Council, headed by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, had approved the reduction on February 25, according to Greater Kashmir. A formal order was issued on Thursday.

The remission will apply to “first time buyers or lessees on purchase or lease of more than 20 years of immovable residential property or apartment or house or a residential plot from any agency of government, or development authority of from developer of project approved by RERA [Real Estate Regulatory Authority], a notification issued by Jammu and Kashmir Additional Chief Secretary, Finance, Atal Dulloo, stated.

The Union Territory’s Housing and Urban Development Department will designate a nodal agency to collect Aadhaar-based data of first-time buyers, the notification added.

However, the concession will not apply to properties valued at more than Rs 1 crore.

The decision is aimed at boosting real estate in Jammu and Kashmir and motivating new buyers to take part in the market, unidentified officials told Greater Kashmir. The move is also “expected to provide momentum to property sale and registration by making the purchase of property attractive and affordable,” the officials said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had notified new land laws for the Union Territory in October 2020, making it possible for any Indian citizen to buy land in the region. The land in Jammu and Kashmir was earlier meant only for the permanent residents under Article 370, which was abrogated by the Centre on August 5, 2019.

In response to a question on the matter, Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai told Parliament during the Winter Session in December that only seven plots of land have been bought in Jammu and Kashmir by outsiders.