LAHORE: The Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA) has developed a comprehensive strategy for digitizing urban land records whereas the World Bank will provide 150 million dollars for the completion of the project, Pakistan Today learnt here on Friday.
Ali Raza Butter, a PLRA official, informed Pakistan Today that the World Bank had offered financial and technical assistance to the Punjab government to computerize urban land records.
“In fact, PLRA has digitized and preserved rural land records and facilitated the provision of such services to the public. Recognizing the professionalism of the department, the World Bank also offered financial and technical assistance to the Punjab government in computerizing urban land records,” he said.
According to Butter, “Following this offer, PLRA, in the light of its previous experience and technical capability, began work on a project to computerize urban land records,” he added.
Butter further informed that the preliminary documents for the project have been prepared by the authority while the implementation plan of the project has also been prepared with the mutual consultation and consensus of the concerned departments.
“Last week, the Punjab Urban Land Systems Enhancement (PULSE) project for computerization of Punjab’s urban records was approved by the Federal Government by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) and the World Bank Board has also approved the project. The PULSE project will receive 150 million dollars in funding from the World Bank and for the implementation of the project, a project implementation unit under the Punjab Land Record Authority headed by the Board of Revenue will be formed.Initially, the gestation period of the project has been fixed at 5 years,” he added.
While explaining about PULSE, Butter informed that the Board of Revenue, Punjab with the technical & financial support of World Bank was preparing the Punjab Urban Land System Enhancement (PULSE) project for the establishment of a unified central database of all types of urban properties, rights and charges.
“The proposed system will not merely a Geographic Information System (GIS) and Parcel based one but has all possible functionalities to serve as a robust platform for creation of ‘Spatial Data Infrastructure’ (SDI), an inevitable need of the future. The project will provide a complete and transparent record of title in land and immovable property. Digitization of remaining parts of rural land, digitization of katchi abadi record, automation of sub-registrar record rooms are also part of the project,” he informed.
Butter said that in Punjab, although rural land records have already been computerized and under PULSE, urban and rural computerized records will be linked to computerized geographical maps.
“Similarly, like rural land records, urban land records will also be collected from the concerned agencies and computerized and satellite maps will be prepared,” he said.
Butter believed that under the project, a new reform land record system would be introduced and implemented in all institutions across Punjab as computerization of records of all rural and urban lands of Punjab will create an integrated system of land administration.
“These reforms will not only make access to records easier and safer for the public, but will also make it possible to provide instant data at the government level for most public welfare projects such as city planning and housing. The plan will eliminate fraud, fraudulent transfers and fraud in land transactions,” he added.
It is pertinent to mention here that due to digitization of land records in rural areas, the revenue of PLRA was gradually increasing every year.
According to the data obtained by PLRA, computerized land document (Fard), transfer services were provided to about 4 million customers during the fiscal year 2021-22, an increase of 15 percent over the previous year.
Similarly, approximately RS 18.6 billion was collected in the state exchequer in terms of provincial government taxes and service charges through convenient and transparent services of land records.
Moreover, out of the total 2,738,290 land documents released, more than 1.6 million documents were released from land record centers, 500,000 through NADRA, 300,000 from Dehi Marakaz e Mall and the rest from other centers.
Furthermore, out of 1.3 million land transfers, more than 850,000 land record c centers, more than 300,000 dehi markaz e malls and the rest were verified by other centers.