12:00 AM, May 07, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 07, 2010

Govt to ease property registration

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Star Business Report

The government is trying to eliminate corruption from all organisations responsible for property transfers, and is modernising the land registration system, said the land minister yesterday.
These new steps are meant to help the country attract more investment and boost the economy, said Rezaul Karim Hira.
"But we need a little more time to make a new guideline to overhaul the entire system," said the minister in his speech to a workshop on property registration, organised by the International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.
Describing sub-registry offices as warehouses of corruption, he said the government is set to computerise the entire process soon.
"We are going to computerise the property transfer system, which will help reduce corruption and ensure transparency in the process," said the minister.
State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam said office buildings, seating arrangement and official procedure, including record keeping, need transformation.
"Serious transformation is needed to restructure the entire system and make it perfect, but it will take a little time. We have already started increasing the number of sub-registry offices in important cities like Dhaka and Chittagong," Karim said.
He also stressed the need for digitalising the record keeping system, so that scope for bribe would significantly be reduced.
Speakers at the workshop urged the government to remove the anomalies in land registration. There are eight steps in property registration that require nearly 245 days to complete and cost more than 10 percent of the value of the property.
The land ministry deals with mutation of any land or property, while the law ministry deals with registration -- which stagers the process of transferring property ownership.
"The government should take steps to remove anomalies in land registration in Bangladesh to help increase investment and boost the economy," said Mahmudul Islam Chowdhury, president of IBFB.
"The government should bring the process of mutation and property registration under one organisation, which will reduce the difficulties involved in initiating a new venture," he said.
He also suggested the government introduce online tax payment for property.
Chowdhury suggested the government take initiatives to enhance the skills of the employees at the relevant organisations.
Atharul Islam, land secretary, and Mohammad Aslam Alam, director general of the Department of Land Records Survey, also spoke.

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