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Shehbaz Sharif addresses ceremony at completion of historic project of Punjab Land Record Management Information System

Lahore, March 07, 2016 (PPI-OT):Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that completion of land record computerization is a historic event in the history of Punjab and Pakistan as such revolutionary measures will not only result in progress of the country but also in regaining its lost status. He said that like land record computerization, the other obsolete systems are also being revamped. He said that he is ready to face any punishment or quit politics if corruption of even a single penny is proved against him during all his three tenures.

He said that with the completion of revolutionary and historic project of land record computerization, land record centres have started extending services in 143 tehsils of Punjab. He said that under this project, land record of 23 thousand villages has been computerized. He said that land record computerization system will help eliminate disputes, unnecessary litigation, corruption and irregularities in the matters relating to non-movable properties as well as rid the people of Patwari culture.

He said that legislation will also be carried out in the assembly for further strengthening the system. He said that this new system will continue even if the government is changed. He said that crores of rupees of the nation were wasted in the project of land record computerization during the dictatorial period and some scandals of corruption also surfaced which were in the notice of NAB but it is lamentable that no action was taken.

He expressed these views while addressing a function of historic project of Punjab Land Record Management Information System at Aiwan-e-Iqbal, here today. Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan, Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Begum Zakia Shahnawaz, Members National and Provincial Assembly, Chief Secretary, Chairman Planning and Development, Senior Member Board of Revenue, officers of Land Record Centre, representatives of cultivators besides intellectuals and columnists attended the ceremony.

The Chief Minister said it is a historic day that historic project of Land Record Management Information System has been completed. He said that this modern system is in operation in all tehsils of the province for obtaining proprietary deeds and transfer of land.

Giving the background of Land Record Computerization Project, he said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, it was started as a pilot project in a tehsil of Kasur in 1997-98 but unfortunately due to martial law on 12 October 1999, the project was stopped. He said that through the former ruler who wanted to elect president in uniform ten times during dictatorial era started work on this project in three districts but nothing was done practically and 90 crore rupees of the poor nation were wasted.

He said that NAB did not investigated the matter, it should have taken notice of this fact. He said that accountability process is essential for every society for progress and prosperity. He said that NAB is investigating various matters in Punjab for the last some months and the government has also extended full support to it in the investigation process. Shehbaz Sharif said he wanted to make it clear to his friends in Sindh who said that hue and cry is made when NAB started inquiry in Punjab that it is not so, rather, all out cooperation is provided to NAB for this purpose.

He said that though scandals of billions of rupees surfaced during dictatorial era and documentary evidence is also available but no action has been taken. He said that he will soon bring the facts to light. He said that during a private gathering last night, he talked about NAB as an institution and that there is documentary evidence about the scandals of billions of rupees relating to the period of dictatorship but NAB has not initiated any proceeding.

Shehbaz Sharif said that he is ready to face any punishment or quit politics if corruption of even a single penny is proved against him. He said that the corruption committed by some tehsildars and patwaris is much more than the total corruption in Pakistan. What NAB has to say in this regard, he asked. He said that he has no enmity with NAB. He said that Chairman NAB served as Commissioner in Punjab during the period of 1998.

The Chief Minister said that he has always supported accountability as corruption is the root cause of poverty. He said that it is not proper to talk on the basis of suppositions. He said that media is fully aware and can judge the facts. He said that Punjab government has taken solid measures for the elimination of corruption from the province. He said that the government had resolved to eliminate the obsolete system and patwari culture from the province and it has been successful.

He said that the efforts of government machinery and the team working on the project have proved fruitful and the modern system of land record computerization has started functioning in all tehsils of the province and people can get proprietary deed in only 30 minutes while the process of transfer of property completes during 50 minutes. He said that disputes of the property were resulting in enmities and bloodshed while time and money of the people were wasted in unnecessary litigation.

He said that modern system of land record computerization has changed the situation and now no one will have to give bribe for acquiring ownership deed or transfer of land but the problems of the property owners coming to land record computerization centres will resolve in a respectable manner. He said that this modern system will be strengthened through legislation so that it is not changed with the change of government.

The Chief Minister said that under this system, 50 lakh errors have been corrected while one hundred persons involved in corruption have been removed from service. He said that patwar culture has become a thing of the past. He said that had patwar khana been serving the people properly there was no need to change the system. He said that this project has been completed due to collective wisdom and efforts besides commitment of the team which worked on the project.

He said that after computerization of rural land, computerization of urban property will also be started and this process will also be completed expeditiously. He said that merit, rule of law and transparency have been promoted in the province. He said that besides recruitments of lakhs of teachers, policemen, vacancies in all departments have been filled on merit and under the same policy, three thousand recruitments have been made for land record centres and no one has been appointed on political basis.

He stressed upon the officers and staff of land record centres to serve the humanity with commitment and dedication and extend all out help to the people coming to these centres. He said that in case of corruption or irregularity, accountability should be ensured. Shehbaz Sharif said that claim of computerization of land record has also been made in another province but if comparison is made with Punjab, facts will come to the light.

He said that World Bank representatives have declared land record computerization project in Punjab as splendid and transparent whereas Supreme Court in its observation in a case, has also commended land record computerization project in Punjab and declared as an example for other provinces. He said that no certificate can be more authentic.

The Chief Minister while addressing Chief Secretary said that a modern system has been evolved through hard work and spirit of public service and legislation is also being undertaken for its survival and strength. He said that third party validation of the project will be arranged twice in a year due to which transparency will be maintained. He said that all Commissioners, DCOs and ACs have been made duty bound to visit centres and submit their reports to the cabinet.

He said that independent validation of this system will be held two times in a year to ensure its transparency. Shehbaz Sharif said that Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, former MD Irfan Elahi, former Chief Secretary Pervaiz Masood to the present Chief Secretary extended all out cooperation for the completion of this project and worked round the clock. He prayed for media, farmers, politicians, lawyers, government officers as well as all those who took part in the completion of this project.

He also thanked everyone who worked on this splendid project as well as felicitated the masses. The Chief Minister, at the conclusion of the speech, reiterated the resolve to eliminate child labour from brick kilns and said that splendid package has been given for equipping the children working at brick kilns with modern education but the brick kiln owners through their strikes want to continue forced labour but the government will not be deterred by such tactics.

He said that child labour from brick kilns will be curbed and the brick owners involved in forced labour will be sent to jail. He said that no one can be allowed to mortgage a family for a few lakh rupees and force children to work. He said that child labour from brick kilns will be eliminated at any cost.

Provincial Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah said that land record management and information system is of vital importance and has rid the people of centuries-old obsolete system. He said that credit goes to Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab government for computerization of land record. He said that entire staff for land record centres set up under this system has been recruited in a transparent manner and there is no room for corruption.

He said that corruption, fraud and irregularities have been eliminated in new system. Senior Member Board of Revenue Capt. (R) Zahid Saeed said that land record centres have all modern facilities and they have been linked with the headquarters through network. He said that the fee for getting proprietary deed has been fixed at Rs.150 whereas earlier people had to pay thousands of rupees for this purpose. He said that overseas Pakistanis can also get information about their lands through this system.

He said that this project has been completed at a cost of 12 billion rupees and with the sum of 2.5 billion saved, a state of the art central data centre is being set up where land record of all areas will be preserved. Former Chairman Planning and Development and Federal Secretary Aviation Irfan Elahi said that completion of this project is the result of continuous efforts and supervision of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif. The Chief Minister also gave commendatory certificates to the officers working on this project while he was given a souvenir.

For more information, contact:
Chief Minister of Punjab
Chief Minister Secretariat
7-Club Road
GOR-I, Lahore
Tel: +92-42-99204906-14, +92-42-99203222-3
Fax: +92-42-99204915, +92-42-99203224
Website: www.cm.punjab.gov.pk

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