Making life easier for citizens

Making life easier for citizens

Making life easier for citizens

There isn’t any doubt about buyers being troubled by high guidance value and resultant high prices of property.

And if buyers still decide to purchase homes at high rates, they can’t avoid the heavy bureaucracy, procedures, appro­vals, bribes, khatas, what not to help them gain ownership of property.

Not that this “babu culture’’ may ever change 100 per cent, but the department of stamps and registration has reiterated that it is going in for reforms that directly benefits citizens. Post-2014, citizens will conduct transactions that are much simpler and that make registration easy. The reforms agenda is not entirely new, but the time for implementation is coming up.

A senior official who did not want to be named told Deccan Herald that “a number of measures for citizens are in the pipeline and will be rolled out one after the other in the coming months”. Some among many positive measures are: Online booking of time slots for transactions, reduction in the number of trips citizens need to make for registration, publishing all relevant information in the public domain, availing all services online via portals and simplification of procedures. 

These measures help citizens in many ways. Once the online facility is set up, citizens no longer need to physically go to the registration office to seek a time slot. They can do it online from home. This saves time and pre-empts long wait in queues.

The number of times a citizen has to go to a registration centre will be lesser than before. Information on transactions, buying, selling, registration, stamp duty, valuation of property, property details and guidance rates for an area will all be made public so that parties to a transaction can negotiate a fair deal.

The most feared aspect of a registrar’s office is the number of procedures to be followed. If a major simplification of rules happens, and if it saves time and trips, it would be a big relief to people.

Department officials acknowledge there is need for change in the functioning of government bodies including stamp and registration. “We have to be in touch with changes outside. For instance, technology. We haven’t yet made use of IT technology widely despite Bangalore being the lead city for IT.

One change you will see in the months ahead is the use of technology in stamp duty and registration work. We will begin with online slot bookings and then move towards building portals so that people can do everything at just a click of the mouse.” 

There is no guarantee that these measures will destroy the bribe corridor that begins at the the door-step of virtually all sub-registrar’s offices in the city. Activists say a fixed chunk is sought by touts for approvals and different approvals have different amounts of bribes.

People were sceptical whether the government’s online services delivery mechanism, Sakaala, would actually take off, but it got an astonishing response - thousands of people all across the State posted queries on grievances.

Sakaala demands that the service sought is attended to within a deadline. Similar efficiency will be expected of the online transformation that the stamp and registration department will undertake.