Aiming to abolish the British-era 'Patwari' system, Pakistan's Punjab government has nearly completed an ambitious plan to digitise land records to root out corruption.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif today inaugurated Arazi Record Centre at Lahore Cantt.
"As sub-continent Pakistan and India both have seen 'Patwari' culture for ages which has now become the most notorious term due to its corrupt attitude. We have successfully introduced Land Record Management and Information System in Punjab," a close aide of Shabaz Sharif told PTI.
The system of 'patwari' has been cornerstone of revenue system since the British period for maintenance of land records, and the assessment and collection of land revenue. It often leads to bitter corruption and lack of any transparency.
The Chief Minister's Office said a "revolution" has been brought about in Land Record Management and corruption is being "totally eradicated".
Data entry of land records in 23 districts is 100 per cent complete and 98 out of 143 tehsils of Punjab have fully operational Arazi Record Centres, a statement released by his office said.
As per the plan, by June 2014 entire Punjab will be covered by this Computerised Land Record System.
The statement said around 3,000 jobs in the public sector and 10,000 jobs in the private sector have been created for young IT professionals due to this system.
"Tehsildars" have been replaced by young officers recruited on 100 per cent merit through Public Service Commission known as Assistant Director Land Record.
"Shahbaz Sharif envisaged this system back in 1998 but it was interrupted due to negligence by subsequent regime and it was re-initiated in 2009," the statement said.
Addressing the ceremony, the Punjab chief Minister said eradication of corruption is his priority and this new system will act as a catalyst for change.