LAHORE: Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA) Director General (DG) Capt (retd) Zafar Iqbal said on Sunday that an intelligence and vigilance cell is being set up at land record centres to prevent corruption and inefficiency while fast track counters (FTCs) are being set up provide fast services to the public.
In an interview with media, he said that the intelligence and vigilance wing would be headed by a retired army colonel and 60-70 retired army officers will be recruited to check corruption and inefficiency. PLRA was set -up to eradicate exploitation through forgery, fraud and manipulation and to bring an end to the influence of patwaris in the province, he said.
About new initiatives for an efficient delivery of service, the DG said that FTCs were being introduced at the existing service centres on the pattern of NADRA executive booths for customers who wanted preferential and fast services in return for extra fee. The FTCs would work in the evening shifts from 3-7 pm, he added.
He further commented on the initiatives for faster delivery services by revealing that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) had been signed with a courier service, which would deliver certified copies of transfer and registry documents at applicants’ doorsteps from December 15. He said that a complaint automated system would be operational from December 31, an agreement for which had been signed with a cellular company.
Furthermore, he said that security enabled paper would be introduced from January 1, 2018, adding that the security feature would be added to the fard for sale.
About more public facilitation, he said that Bank of Punjab (BoP) counters had been established at the PLRA service centres for provision of agri-pass books besides depositing transfer and fard fee. He said that earlier transactions used to be made through National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) only. He said land record counters were also being set up at BoP branches where the farmers could get fard etc.
He said mobile services would be introduced from next year under which the issuance of fard services will be provided at doorsteps for the elderly and ailing citizens, adding that the project will be introduced in five major cities of the province including Lahore.
Responding to a question, the DG said that 23,000 out of 25,000 “mouzas” had been computerised in Punjab, adding that 14 million documents had been scanned to date while the PLRA would enter the value-addition phase in June 2018.
About preferential treatment given to individuals at the service centres, he said that a queue management system had been introduced at the centres to discourage VIP culture and provide equal services. He said tokens were issued at the centres and the working hours began at 7am rather than 8am in the morning. He added that web cameras have been installed at all land record service centres for centralised monitoring at the Head Office in Lahore to ensure efficiency.
To a query, Iqbal said that seven new centres had been established in seven tehsils as there was a great rush in the 29 high transaction service centres from the 143 centres. The new centres have been established in Hafizabad, Liaquatabad, Ahmedpur East, Shuja Abad, Tehsil Kehror Lal Isa, Sheikhpura and Sahiwal tehsils near already existing centres.
He said some 210,000 fard and 85,000 transfer deeds were being issued at the PLRA service centres every month and it generated 800 million rupees revenue per month.
He said the PLRA had played a vital role in alleviating poverty, increasing the collateral value of land and eradicating corruption. Prior to the establishment of PLRA, two million registered documents were attested but the money was never deposited in the government exchequer, causing a loss of millions.
Regarding corruption at the sub-registrar offices, he said sub-registrar offices worked independently under the district collector and the PLRA had integrated these offices with the SCOs through internet linkages.
“Under a World Bank project, all registry data of the sub-registrar offices – from 1947 onwards – was being computerised and work in nine districts out of 36 had been completed,” he said, adding that all data of land record in Punjab had been scanned and preserved from threats of fire.
To a query, he said the presence of monitoring mechanism in a system was most important for efficient public service delivery, adding that he had sacked about 600 officials on charges of corruption, out of merit recruitments and inefficiency.
About regularisation of contract employees, the Iqbal said that all staff was hired on a contractual basis through Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), adding that any decision in this regard would be taken according to the Punjab government’s policy on regularisation.