A government office with piles of documents scattered about and files gathering dust is a common sight.
But the Maharashtra revenue department will not look like this in a few years as it is set for a transformation by adopting blockchain technology.
This digital method of storing records on a business network will enable district collectors to have a faster documentation process and also save costs, officials told PTI. At the Global Fintech Fest held in Mumbai last month, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the role of governance, especially in the revenue department, will change forever in the next two-three years. “Blockchain technology will save a lot of time for a district collector who has to spend considerable time conducting hearings related to document errors. There will be no typical or conventional role for a collector once we fully transition to documentation based on blockchain technology,” he said.
The Revenue Department deals with land records, property ownership/rent, registration of sale and purchase etc. Citizens have for many years expressed concern about errors in recording the names and exact details of a property.
Human interference sometimes also results in land grabbing and false documentation of property purchase or sale. An additional collector rank officer said that the use of computers has increased the speed of documentation and land ownership records are now available online, but if some changes are made (illegally), it is very difficult to find them and take action.
“Blockchain technology will maintain a record of every document accessed by an official and the changes made to it. In this way, it will check abuses and help understand when changes were made and why,” he said.
The official said there are more than one crore land title deeds in Maharashtra. Such documents are often used by farmers to obtain a crop loan and for other purposes. Marriage registration is also at the revenue department, he noted. Blockchain technology will greatly reduce the burden on regional collectors, he said.
“Economically, it is a win-win situation for the state,” said a senior revenue official.
“With the documentation process becoming error-free, it will be easier for the administration to focus on efficient use of management time,” he said. It will also reduce the concerns of citizens, especially the less educated and financially weak, about the safety of their land records and minimize document forgery, he said.
“This will also help save crores of rupees spent on using paper and requiring clerical staff just to maintain records,” he said.
The Office of the Inspector General of Registration and Stamps (IGR), which registers sales, purchases or leases of properties, has already started e-registration of newly constructed properties in the state. It is entirely based on blockchain technology and more than 450 developers have opted for this system so far, an IGR official said.
The department is one of the largest revenue generators for the state with an annual contribution of over Rs 45,000 crore, he said.
According to IGR Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, property deals worth Rs 28 lakh to Rs 30 lakh are registered every year in Maharashtra. Of these, about four lakhs include newly constructed properties and are registered with the IGR.
“Every year, the IGR faces several complaints about errors in property registrations, such as errors in the spelling of names and descriptions of properties. Even if 20 percent of the total property transaction registrations in a year have to be corrected, it requires a lot of staff time,” said a senior IGR official.
Blockchain technology is expected to save this time so that the department can focus on its core work of stamp duty registration and collection, he said.
Like the IGR, other sections of the revenue department will also move to blockchain technology in the coming days, which will transform the functioning of the administration forever, said a senior revenue department official.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated by a syndicated feed.)