UN-Habitat is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.
Islamabad 15 April 2013 : Mr. Attaullah Khan Toru, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has announced that Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will continue its collaboration with UN-Habitat. The announcement was made during a National Seminar on ‘Showcasing Modern Land Administration System’ held here in Islamabad today. The seminar was attended by the representatives of donors, UN agencies, federal and provincial government departments and members of civil society.
“We are very happy that UN-Habitat came in to this collaboration and made this pilot a very successful beginning and opening doors for a transparent and accountable land administration system in the province and the country. They have trained our human resource and have made us rethink our institutional capacity to meet the demands of the new system”, Mr. Toru added.
“Effective transparency and accountability will improve governance and improve the situation of citizens’ rights to their land & property. We are now focused to see this success being replicated province wide. After successful completion of pilot project in Nowshera and Charsadda, Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been collaborating with UN-Habitat through Board of Revenue for digitizing revenue records of seven districts i.e. Mardan, Peshawar, Abbottabad, Kohat, Bannu, Buner and Dera Ismail Khan”, Mr. Toru further said.
While describing significance of modernization of land administration system and future needs, the Senior Member Board of Revenue Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mr. Fazl-e-Rehmani said that the initiation the process of digitizing the revenue records was long awaited and Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and UN-Habitat jointly created this model of a transparent and accountable land administration system.
“The modern land administration system has been tested, refined and have placed is a revolutionary change the way land administration and revenue system would be administered in the province. We are all aware that land matters have been under the cloud for being least transparent and less accountable only creating difficulties for the government and the people. The government has been recognizing that the vulnerable, including poor and women, have been suffering from the adverse consequences of the manual land administration system. This is the reason that a huge percentage of the land disputes are pending cases of litigation in the courts and clogging up our judicial system. Lack of transparency and accountability in land administration system is continually the biggest hurdle in generating revenue”, Mr. Rehmani said.
Ms. Bella Evidente, Officer In-Charge of UN-Habitat Pakistan said that “In most countries, the land records are maintained electronically but there are some that are still struggling and maintaining land records manually. UN-Habitat is assisting various governments for security of tenure and improved handling of land records. The establishment of an effective database with modern GIS technology is definitely an accurate deliberation of modernized records and I sincerely appreciate and thank the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for its continuous cooperation and in working hand in hand with UN-Habitat in this particular sector of land administration.”
“I believe that the improvement of revenue collection system is directly related to the modernization of land administration and after digitizing the records along with capacity building of concerned officials, huge breakthrough is surely expected for expanding the revenue base”, she concluded.
Mr. Zahid Nasim Khattak of UN-Habitat shared various accomplishments of UN-Habitat in the land sector and mentioned the capacity of UN-Habitat to execute such projects related to land especially in the post-disaster scenarios of earthquake 2005 and floods 2010.
The land experts held useful discussion during the National Seminar. It was agreed upon by the participants of Seminar that there is a dire need for digitization of revenue records to ensure efficient collection of revenue. The benefits to the public, government and other stakeholders were explained and it was informed that UN-Habitat has successfully developed database connected with satellite images and scanned records of revenue department.
The National Seminar was concluded with practical demonstration of land database presented by Mr. Subtain Hussain of UN-Habitat.