A welcome reform

Posted on June 2, 2010 | View 632 | Comment : 6

Guaranteed titles will spur growth.

The Centre’s move to draft a model law for the states to adopt, transforming the way land ownership is recorded by doing away with deeds and directly registering the title to a piece of land, is a stellar piece of reform.

When this is implemented, India will dump the cumbersome, antiquated system of establishing ownership through a chain of titles — a series of deeds that trace the change of ownership from the original transfer from the sovereign to the present — to the Torrens system of direct registration of title in a central registry.

Under the proposed system, all parcels of land will be identified and entered into a register, with an owner specified. The state would guarantee ownership.

When the owner sells his piece of land, the name of the owner would change in the register. If there is a dispute, it would go to a tribunal. Clean, state government-guaranteed titles have remained a challenge so far.

The Land Titling Bill, 2010, would fill this lacuna and provide compensation for losses arising from inaccurate property titles.

It would have a multiplier effect: reduce litigation across the country, ensure transparency, improve governance, revenues and productivity of capital.

Industry will also find it easier to acquire land when ownership is not in doubt. Land is a state subject and, therefore, state governments hold the key to implementing land market reforms.

Some of them have already been captured in electronic form records of land ownership. But what have been electronically recorded are the deeds. Guaranteeing titles will take transparency to a new level.
The Bill requires every state to set up a Land Titling Authority to write rules, create and update the register of titles, assign a unique identity number to each piece of immovable property and provide valuation details, if need be.

It would be useful for the authority to also compile data on users of land, even when these are not owners, such as forest dwellers. This would come in handy when issues of compensation arise on land acquisition.

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Comments (6)

  • I am sorry for error in refering location of an unauthorised development in Bandra Mumbai.This development is around Patrakarnagar Pune,not in Mumbai.This is with repect to my comment on3rd Jun.

    Posted by Nandkumar Deshmukh,Architect Town Planner at Individual|07 Jun, 2010

  • As mentioned in the article,The Land Tilting Bill ,2010 requires every state to set up a Land Titling Authority to write rules, create and update the register of titles, and other related information to preserve the title of land owners. While drafting rules, respective state governments must ensure that there would not be any ambiguity in their interpretation giving benefit of doubt and further litigation. Simplification should be aimed at for the benefit of all. This will go a long way in promotion of agricultural and industrial activity in the country with least delays.


  • Intension of monitorying land record is twofold,-Assessment of revenue, and allowing
    it's proper use and development. It would be of great advantage to local and city administration to keep a track of actual utilization , type, use, intensity of land for varyous purposes so as to monitar development more transparently. Absence of such track has resulted into the unauthorised development by those in authority in Patrakarnagar,Bandra E,Mumbai. In present format it will have a limited advantage

    Posted by Nandkumar M Deshmukh , External Consultant at Free lancer | 03 Jun, 2010

  • Land laws in India are pre-British rule. They need radical changes and much of the corruption is associated with land related issues. Govt's initiative is a really welcome move. However we need to see whether good intention is supported by actual implementation

    Posted by anil mehta,Head-SEZ at A large group|03 Jun, 2010

  • This relates to Editor's query to me on Jneneshwary Express Accident anf other transport systems.
    Dear Editor,
    The Economic Times,
    ...See More

    Posted by pritis majumdar,|03 Jun, 2010

  • This should a go a long way in helping the ordinary Indian to feel safe in land transactions, and feel secured wether buying or selling.

    Posted by Rajan Chopra | 02 Jun, 2010

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