The Punjab government today launched a historic people friendly initiative to remove malpractices in registrations with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia inaugurating a unique e stamping project conceived to end people harassment and also make revenue transactions safe and secure.The initiative, which was conceived and custom built for the requirements of Punjab under the guidance of Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, will also bring in efficiency and transparency in the working of the Revenue department which will now be able to do online reconciliation of its transactions on a daily basis.Speaking on the occasion after launching the e-stamping project, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, congratulated the Revenue department for the people friendly step and said the government would introduce e registration in the next six months to compliment this measure. "E registration coupled with e stamping will result in complete computerisation of the Revenue department", he said.
Mr Badal also announced that by July this year all government to government (G2G) interaction and government to citizen (G2C) services will be provided online and Punjab will be the first State to do this", He also disclosed that besides computerisation of district offices, the State would establish Sewa Kendras in all rural and urban areas. "These Sewa Kendras will provide 249 citizen centric services within a given time frame and remove corruption automatically. Moreover citizens can even get all services by going online and need not go to anyone after July", he added. “This is above all a pro people initiative”, said Mr. Majithia while briefing an august gathering about the e stamping project. He said the project had been conceived to make it easy for the common man to buy or sell property. “You will now be able to deposit the stamp paper fee at thousands of branches of various banks near your place of work or residence”. He said besides this people would now be able to deposit the exact fee in stark contrast to being forced to buy stamps of more denomination than needed due to lack of availability and creation of artificial scarcity.
Further explaining the positive transformation which had taken place in the Revenue department with the launch of this initiative, Mr Majithia said “now there will be no lines for procuring stamp papers or any middlemen. The common man can deposit the stamp fee through a wire transfer, a draft or even a cheque”. He also explained that this facility would now be available without any extra cost. “In fact the public will get some relief as they will no longer have to pay commission charges to the bank responsible for issuing stamp papers, as was happening till now”.The new initiative has many advantages to its credit. The Revenue minister highlighted how the scope of cheating had been completely removed with the introduction of the new system. He said each stamp paper had a unique ID which was generated for that stamp paper only and could be verified online also. He said it also had various safety features including UV, ultra violet, micro film and thermal fixtures besides an encrypted 2 D bar code. He said the new paper was also a permanent record.“This means if it is lost or misplaced, you can apply for a duplicate which is not possible under the present system”. He also highlighted how the stamp papers, which were earlier available through one bank, would now be available through all 22 recognized banks and thousands of their branches in the State. He said the facility, which was now available with the banks, would eventually be extended to all the 1900 licensed stamp vendors also. The number of stamp vendors will also be trebled in due course. “This means you will be able to deposit fee to procure the new stamps 24 X 7 as the vendors will be available to collect the fee at any time”, he added.
Mr. Karan A. Singh , Financial Commissioner Revenue disclosed that the new system was expected to be a major plus for the Revenue department also. He said that the department has acquired a secure electronic system to stamp documents besides electronic payment of stamp duty which will end leakage of government revenue. The department can now not only do online verification of the transactions but can also trace the audit trail of all payments. Similarly it can do online reconciliation of all transactions on a daily basis, something which had been pending for years together. The department can also verify different kinds of transactions and also do district wise reconciliation. This will allow it to use the services of its reconciliation department for other work, he added.Mr A S Bains, Special Secretary, Revenue disclosed e stamping had been initiated as a pilot project in five districts of Mohali, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Bathinda. He said it would now cover all districts by March 31 this year.Others present on the occasion included Mr. Mahesinder Singh Grewal, Advisor to Chief Minister, Punjab, Mr. NK Sharma, Chief Parliamentary Secretary and Mr. Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Deputy Commissioner.