Need to focus on improving Registering Property

Shagun Khurana January 2018

Registered and secure property rights are essential for supporting investment, productivity and growth. The ease of obtaining land is a significant determinant of how easy it is to do business in a country. According to the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2018 report, India ranks 154 in “Registering Property” out of 190 economies around the world, as opposed to last year’s rank of 138.

The evaluation basedon Distance to Frontier scores for Registering Property includes four parameters – number of procedures, cost, time, and quality of land administration. As compared to last year,the number of procedures necessary for registering property, time requiredand the total official costs involved as a percentage of property value have all gone up, resulting in a drop of 16 places in India’s rank this year. The only improvement that has happened is in the Quality of Land Administration index.

The World Bank Ease of Doing Business study incorporated Quality of Land Administration index in their methodology since 2015. It comprises of five dimensions – reliability of infrastructure, transparency of information, geographic coverage, land dispute resolution, and equal access to property rights. The index ranges from zero to 30, with higher values indicating better quality of the land administration. The inclusion of this index hassignificantly impacted India’s rank for worse in Registering Property.When we analyze India’s Quality of Land Administration index, ascore of eight as per the latest report, we see that the majority of cadastral maps of land plots are still maintained inpaper format instead of being computerized. It takes, on an average, more than three years to obtain a decision on a land dispute from the first-instance court (without appeal). Furthermore, a recent

Note: Views expressed in this blog are those of the author.