Asif Ali Zardari calls for speedy computerisation of land record

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Former president Asif Ali Zardari has directed the Sindh government to expedite computerisation of the land record.

He said that by doing so not only the record of rights could be made safe but the recovery of ‘dhal’ (local farming cess) would be linked with the revenue collection system through the Sindh Bank.

“This new mechanism of recoveries would enhance the government revenue manifold.”

The Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman was presiding over a high-level meeting at the Chief Minister House the other day.

Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in his opening remarks said that the computerisation project in all the districts of the province was launched on the directives of Asif Ali Zardari on September 14, 2011 costing around Rs 4,997 million and would be completed by the end of June.

He explained that there are 6,000 dehs (villages) in Sindh and “we have processed data verification of 2,224 dehs and 55 percent of work in 1,237 dehs has been completed”.

Elaborating, Shah said that there are over 30 million acres of land in Sindh of which 12.539 million acres are under private ownership.

In his detailed briefing on the Land Administration & Revenue Management Information System (LARMIS), Member Board of Revenue Sindh Zulfiqar Shah said that Sindhi language software has been developed for the purposes because the entire revenue record was in Sindhi language. “The system has the biometrics (thumb impression and photo) facility.”

When it was reported that there were around 1,000 vacancies in the Information Technology (IT) section of the project, Zardari directed the Board of Revenue (BoR) concerned authorities to hire female staff for jobs as well. “I want our young sisters to come over and avail the opportunity,” he asserted.

Zulfikar Shah informed the gathering that the computerization of revenue record has different stages, such as scanning and indexing of record, data entry of scanned record, verification of entered record through concerned deputy commissioners and then storage of computerised record in data centre in Karachi.

“In case of any untoward incident the BoR has established a Disaster Recovery Centre at Hyderabad. There would be 27 service centres and it would have a website sindhzameen.gos.pk,” he added.

Giving analysis of area-wise ownership, Zulfikar said over 3.5 million people own four acres of land each; over 267,178 people own between five to 16 acres each and 105,841 people have above 16 acres each.

On this the PPP co-chairman observed: “This showed 90 per cent of the growers owned only four acre acres land each.”

On a question asked by Zardari, the BoR member explaining the inherent flaws said that in the entire land record, 29 percent shares were undivided, in 19 percent of the total area survey numbers were missing, 20 percent entries/pages of the total record were missing, five percent entries were without buyers and sellers, two percent of the entries were unattested and in one percent cases survey numbers were missing and in another one per cent duplicate entries were made in the land record.

Unsurveyed land

Giving details of deh level mapping of Karachi, Zulfiqar Shah said that there are total 900,211 acres of land in this mega city, of which 681,000 acres are unsurveyed and 641,406 acres are surveyed,” he said and added that the unsurveyed land have been surveyed under the project.

Automation

Qaim Ali Shah informed Zardari that Rs 1.9 billion value Automation of Stamps and Registration project in all the districts of the province has been prepared. He said it was a two-year project and with its completion revenue would increase by manifold.

Quoting the example of Bangalore in India, where the chief minister said after implementation of a similar automation project their revenue increased doubled from Rs150 billion in 2003-4 to Rs 300 billion in 2006-7.

Zardari directed Qaim to launch the project as soon as possible.

E-stamping system

Talking about the automated registration and e-stamping system, Zulfiqar said that micro-filming of land record should be replaced with modern scanning services with the same day returning facility and assured, “This would be done by the end of this March.”

He added that micro-filmed record would be converted into digital record and it would be available online.

The meeting was informed of setting up of the People Service Centre, which would offer multiple services such as receiving excise duty and motor vehicle fee.

“In collaboration with the Sindh Bank, the land record would be made available across its over 200 branches in the country. This would develop collaboration of the people with the financial institute.” the BoR member said.

Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Sindh Senior Minister for Education Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Minister for Finance Syed Murad Ali Shah, Minister for Revenue Makhdoom Jameel Zaman, Minister for Information Sharjeel Memon, PPP leader Sherry Rehman, President Sindh Bank Bilal Shaikh, Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiana and senior officers of the government attended the meeting.

Source: The News

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