Cluster land valuation stagnates leading to loss of revenue



| Update:
Mar 12, 2022 5:01:04 p.m.


Untaxed money is gaining the most while the Treasury is losing huge revenue due to a major government decision to introduce a cluster-based land stall market value review, officials say.

The shutdown also leaves people waiting to reap the benefits of the land value rationalization initiative.

They say the minimum market price of the mouza has not been updated since 2018, depriving the public treasury of receiving a good volume of revenue from land transfers.

Officials involved in land sale-buyback cases blame the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of coordination between the agencies involved for the stagnation in the revision of the value by land consolidation.

Based on a proposal, they say, the Ministry of Justice has started the process of replacing the traditional practice of mouza-centric price review, as each mouza has different land types like lowland and farmland. , the roads, the bazaar and the school. Thus, setting the same rate for different categories of land is not logical and rational.

According to the 2010 Minimum Market Value of Property Guidelines, the review is done by calculating the average price of land sold in a mouza in ten months (January to October) when the periodic value adjustment was made every year.

But it was changed from 2016 when the ministry decided to conduct the review every two years on the grounds that few land transfer deeds were registered per year.

Since then, the state-run Registration Directorate of the Ministry of Justice has revised the value of the mouza after calculating the average prices of land sold in a particular mouza in 22 months (January to October from next year).

When contacted, Inspector General of Registration (IGR) Shahidul Alam Jhinuk said he was planning to introduce a scientific method of land value review, such as zoning, in a mouza. .

He said the number of land transfers is expected to increase once the new review model is implemented. “But the Covid-19 pandemic has halted ongoing progress.”

The former chairman of the Bangladesh Registration Services Association (BRSA), Dipak Kumar Sarker, proposed the cluster-based land value review.

Speaking to the FE, Mr Sarker said he proposed the reform in 2018 because the same value for different types of land is not at all logical and rational.

“My proposal was to make a group of land based on location in a mouza and set the rates accordingly,” he adds.

Giving an example, he said, the Bounia Mouza in the capital covers the regions of Uttara, Gulshan and Badda. “If we make identical land prices for these areas, will that be justified? Certainly not”, he questions and answers in a rhetorical mode above the anachronism.

There will be one rate for land in and around the road while the rates will be different in agriculture, bazaar, school-college and low-lying areas, says Sarker, now Khulna district registrar.

A high-level committee has been formed to tackle the critical task, giving a two-year timeframe, with suggestions for inclusion from other key agencies like LGED and the Land Records and Surveys Department, it says. he.

But the government had halted the movement for two years since 2020, taking into account the negative impact of coronavirus on livelihoods.

“Thus, the land value has remained unchanged since 2018,” he adds.

Seeking anonymity, a Lands Ministry official said the Anti-Corruption Commission suggested a few years ago to the cabinet division to conduct the review in a scientific manner to prevent the reach of black money using the flawed value review mechanism.

“A person can launder a huge amount of undisclosed money by buying a small piece of land in Gulshan because they can legally invest a lot of money by showing only the minimum rate. This needs to be stopped,” he says.

Expressing his frustration with the shutdown, he says the lack of coordination between the agencies involved has also slowed down the process as it is a critical task.

“The government has lost a huge volume of revenue over the past two years due to the lack of progress in the move. If the review was done in time, the rate would increase by a certain margin and that would increase the revenue” , he adds.

In the financial year 2020-21, an estimated revenue of about Tka 123 billion was derived from land ownership transfers, according to statistics from the state-run Registration Directorate.

The revenue was earned through the remittance of 3.47 million deeds which represented 82% of the government’s previous fiscal non-NBR tax revenue target of 150 billion taka.

Of the revenue, 93.39 billion taka came from registration purposes while the remaining 29.53 billion taka came from local government tax.

In the previous fiscal year, 2019-2020, the revenue was 78.48 billion taka earned through the remittance of 2.55 million deeds across the country.

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