Making land rights secure, reducing the potential for disputes and enabling an improved investment climate are urgent tasks for the BOR and have been prioritized at the highest levels of the Go Punjab for the entire Province. Over the long-term the Government intends to move to an effective system of land records management which will link text and spatial data effectively and will make rights in land more secure. This will entail significant institutional, legal and policy changes, as well as investment in human resource development, information systems, and improvement in the available data bases on land. As a key first phase in this long-term program, the Government is focusing on modernization of the land records system. While the proposed program aims at having a rural-urban focus due to the nature of the issues to be addressed, the development of an urban component would be gradual due to the current complex and dispersed institutional setting.
While computerization will be an important technical element of the strategy for the program, the focus needs to be squarely on improved service delivery to the population, with computerization as a tool to that end, but neither a sufficient condition for achieving that end nor an end in itself. More important than the ICT elements will be the changes in business processes and associated changes in the legal and regulatory framework, human resource development of staff responsible for service delivery, and public outreach programs to stakeholders and the general population.
The initial phase of the program, which is covered by the proposed LRMIS Project, will focus on the land records system of the BOR by putting in place a reliable, efficient, and transparent system for maintaining those records and providing access to those records for the population. Also during the first phase, linkages will be tested and proven between the land records system and the system of registration of deeds, and piloting of digitization of spatial records will be carried out. As such, the first phase will introduce some key initial changes in the regulatory and institutional framework, and set the stage for the roll-out of more substantial changes in the next phase. Two key features of the Government’s strategy in the first phase are (i) learning by doing ; and (ii) ensuring availability of services at the Tehsil/Sub-Tehsil level, easing access to the population.
In urban areas – where the weaknesses in the registration of land rights are the result of fragmented institutional responsibilities, poor reliability of spatial data, little accountability and cumbersome processes – the Go Punjab is also embarked in a number of actions aimed at improving the existing structure of property documentation, automation of the deed system and simplification and standardization of mortgage documents. The Go Punjab also intends to incorporate the ongoing modernization of the deeds registration system (sub-registrar’s offices) with modernization of the land revenue records system. The Government will also pursue linkages between the Land Records Program and other initiatives with bearing on immovable property, such as the Punjab Municipal Services Delivery Project.