LAHORE: The Punjab government has made redefining the role of Patwaris in the modern system of revenue a condition of any further recruitment of Patwaris in the Land Record System (LRS).
Punjab Finance Minister Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht on Thursday chaired the first meeting of the committee formed by the Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to reconstitute the organisational structure to improve the service delivery and revenue system under the Punjab Board of Revenue (PBR).
The meeting was attended by Provincial Minister for Irrigation Mohsin Leghari, Board of Revenue (BoR) Senior Member Babar Hayat Tarrar, Additional Chief Secretary Shaukat Ali, Secretary Local Government Tahir Khurshid, chairman of Punjab information technology board, commissioner Bahawalpur, director Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA), former federal secretary Irfan Elahi, Rashid Langarial and representatives of related institutions.
Babar Hayat Tarrar, while informing the meeting about the aims and objectives of the committee, said that the committee headed by the finance minister of Punjab would determine measures to eradicate corruption in land record centres as well as the exploitation of the people at the hands of Patwaris.
“The committee will make recommendations to improve transparency and service delivery through innovation in the revenue system. Determining a timeline for computerization of land records and setting up a new management structure for future revenue will also be part of the committee’s responsibilities,” Tarrar added.
He also briefed the meeting on BoR’s existing service structure and performance improvement recommendations.
Meanwhile, the finance minister directed the BoR to rectify the lack of liaison between PLRA and the Patwaris and to redefine the responsibilities of the Patwaris in the existing system of revenue before hiring more Patwaris.
Bakht directed all tax collecting agencies, including the BoR, to focus on improving service delivery instead of more recruitments. “A large portion of the revenue is being spent on the salaries of the employees of the revenue collection agencies. Innovation in the tax system aims to reduce the burden on costs by minimising human intervention. For this, it is necessary for the departments to focus on increasing the volume of revenue instead of increasing the volume of salaries.”