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Rampant corruption in land sector

Published : Friday, 13 September, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 297

Rampant corruption in land sector

Rampant corruption in land sector

According to a news report published in our newspaper, a study by Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) on corruption revealed that any service seeker has to pay a certain amount of bribe for registration related works in almost all of our land registry offices. Furthermore, the rate increases manifold depending on the nature of the deed registration and the value of the land.  Corruption at the sub-registrar and district registrar offices has been ever increasing. In fact, corruption has taken an institutionalised form through involvement of vested groups comprising root-level employees to top officials.

TIB carried out this research based on monitoring of 41 sub-registrar and district registrar offices as well as interviews with different stakeholders. It is really surprising that copyist, deed writers and mohrars (clerks) are all somehow involved in this chain of corruption. They have practically taken people hostage to pay kickbacks to get their works done. Frustratingly, in the land sector, corruption has taken grip in all forms. A sub-registrar has to pay between Tk 3 lakh and Tk 20 lakh to higher officials for getting his preferred post or a transfer. Undeniably, the level of corruption in land department has reached its peak.

Nevertheless, in our country corruption has wreaked havoc with the socio-economic development and a major hurdle to the progress of the country. The major cause of corruption in Bangladesh is lack of accountability and transparency, which unfortunately lacks in our civil service. Amid the magnitude of practicing this crime, it is advisable for the government to take some serious action to root out this menace from society. Though the PM has declared a 'Zero Tolerance' stance against corruption but many of our government officials are either failing or reluctant to implement it.

In order to curb corruption, this sector requires digitisation of the land registration process, better monitoring and reveal income statements of all the land registry officials and employees. Moreover, the government must form a probe committee to identify the corrupt land sector officials and hand them out with exemplary punishments, so to deter rampant corrupt practices. A toll free number can be introduced to report complaints. Making our nation corruption free would be a tedious process, but we must realize without collective efforts of all, freeing the country out of corruption is not possible.

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Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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