ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration has taken an initiative for removing loopholes in the legal framework of its revenue department.
If implemented, these changes will help minimise chances of corruption and malpractice in the ICT revenue department.
The Islamabad Board of Revenue on Friday issued three notifications aimed at improving the functioning of the revenue department.
New notification mandates land transfers to be incorporated in revenue record within seven days of registry entry
According to the notification, patwaris and other concerned officials are bound to incorporate land transfers in the revenue record, or intiqal, seven days after the registry entry is done.
A notification issued by Chief Commissioner Amir Ali Ahmed, who is also head of the Board of Revenue, Islamabad, directed revenue staff to complete all pending land transfers.
Sources in the ICT Revenue Department said that after a registry, patwaris are supposed to register land transfers without delay. However, in Islamabad, the revenue staff do not register land transfers within the stipulated time, creating room for manipulation.
An official explained that because the two are not done within the stipulated time, one claimant usually has the registry for a piece of land and another has the intiqal, both claiming to be owners of the same land.
The notification also directed revenue officials to complete the Haqdaran register within three months and it was also decided that in case of sale deeds, revenue staff will clearly mention the total land of the seller, the amount of land he is selling and his remaining land.
An official of the Revenue Department said the documents also contain Sanskrit and Persian words to make it ambiguous and that a model will be made for these documents to put a stop to the practice and make the documents clear.
The Board of Revenue also directed the revenue staff to complete the periodical record or the Jamabandis. The deputy commissioner and the additional deputy commissioner revenue have been directed to complete these pending records without delay and were initially given three months to complete the task.
Sources said that the revenue department is responsible to complete the Jamabandi every four years. However, in Islamabad, the Jamabandis of various revenue estates are pending since long, which promotes corruption and malpractice.
Islamabad Commissioner Amir Ali Ahmed told Dawn that these notifications were issued to bring improvement in the functioning of the Revenue Department and to provide relief to citizens.
Another official said a violation of these orders will be lead to disciplinary proceedings against the revenue staff.
ICT sources said that the Revenue Department is also facing a shortage of patwaris and that without new inductions it will be difficult to achieve the desired results. They said that over a dozen vacancies for patwaris have been pending for years.
The ICT administration and the federal government have taken several initiatives in the past to improve functioning but no serious outcome has been brought about. One of the major initiatives was the digitisation of the land record, which was started in 2009.
The project for digitising the entire land record for Islamabad’s 112 mauzas was started in collaboration with the Ministry of Information Technology and was to be completed by June 2013.
However, the digitisation of only 33 mauzas had been completed when the ministry disassociated itself from the project in 2014 after which the federal government ordered the ICT administration to complete the rest of the work. The project has been halted since then.
Even in the mauzas where the record was digitised, computerised land records or fards are not issued as this requires new legislation.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2018