Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Bribery rampant in Bangladesh land registry

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Service seekers have to pay up to Tk 50 lakh as bribe for registration of land deeds at the sub-registrar and district registrar offices, reveals a study by Transparency International, Bangladesh on corruption in the land registration sector.

The study report was launched at its office in the capital on Monday.

A service seeker has to pay at least Tk 1 thousand as bribe for registration of a deed at any sub-registrar office in the country and the rate increases manifold depending on the nature of the deed registration and the value of the land, the study found.

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According to the study, corruption at the sub-registrar and district registrar offices under the law ministry’s Directorate of Registration has been ever increasing as it has taken an institutionalised form through collusion among vested groups comprising root-level employees to top officials, the deed writers’ associations and even politically influential people.

As a result, the study showed, the service seekers need to pay huge amounts of money in bribe while the government receives lower amounts of taxes than the actual from the sector.

‘The level of corruption at the sub-registrar and district registrar offices has gone up compared to our previous [similar] studies in the sector,’ said TIB executive director Iftekharuzzaman at the launching ceremony.

Related: Bangladeshi: BNP leader Mosharraf indicted in money laundering case

‘Officials and employees of different levels and even local influential people and politicians are part of this corruption,’ he said.

Law minister Anisul Huq refused to comment until he has gone through the study report.

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The TIB study, jointly carried out by its researchers Nihar Ranjan Roy and Shammy Laila Islam based on monitoring of 41 sub-registrar and district registrar offices as well as interviews with different stakeholders, revealed that deed writers in association of office staffs, copyists and mohrars (clerks) forced the people coming for land deed registration to pay extra money as bribe showing different causes, including for ‘office maintenance’.

‘We found that service seekers were forced to pay from Tk 1 thousand to Tk 5 lakh for land deed registrations depending on the nature of the deeds and the value of the land ,’ Nihar Ranjan said.

‘At a sub-registrar office near Dhaka, we found that a service seeker paid Tk 50 lakh as bribe for a land registration,’ he said.

For collecting duplicate copies of deeds, service seekers have to pay between Tk 1 thousand and Tk 7 thousand as bribe.

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