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Revolutionary E-stamp plan going successful, crosses over Rs11bn proceeds

The Punjab government, in collaboration with the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has revolutionized the stamp paper system by introducing the e-Stamping Program. Under this program stamp papers are procured electronically and the process hardly takes 15 minutes. The citizen is then sent a verification text message to eliminate the possibility of fraud. e-Stamping aims at both curbing corruption in the stamp paper system and making the process more efficient and convenient for citizens.

Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB)’s flagship project e-Stamping has shown remarkable results in the shortest span of time. The experimental operation launched on six months ago has touched the figure of Rs11.064 billion proceeds till the close of business. A number of 571,740 people visited the respective website while 516,723 vouchers were paid and a number of 417,963 e-Stamp papers were issued.

Dr. Umar Saif, Advisor to Chief Minister Punjab and Chairman PITB lauded the untiring efforts of all the stakeholders i.e. Board of Revenue, respective bank and the team of PITB while congratulating the officials during a meeting held last week. The Chairman PITB while expressing his gratitude to the Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for his continuous support and guidance in the completion of the project said that e-Stamping was a step towards generating revenue through technology in most transparent way and to eradicate the chances of financial pilferage through an efficient and accountable system. It has saved the common citizen from fraud, forgery, agent mafia, long queues in the treasury office and the banks as the duration of receiving stamp papers have been reduced from three days to fifteen minutes, which is now operative in the whole Punjab’s 36 districts and 144 tehsils, he added.

The e-Stamping system has replaced 117 years old Stamp paper system introduced in 1899 in the Sub Continent during the British colonial rule. The newly introduced system is online and any person desirous of purchasing high value non-judicial/judicial stamp paper can access the system by a simple internet connection. The value of stamp duty will be calculated on the basis of data provided by the buyer (area of the land, location, covered area, commercial / residential etc.) and DC valuation tables built into the system. The names of the buyer, seller and the person through whom stamps are being purchased will be fed into the system along with their CNIC numbers.

The system has empowered the common man to verify the authenticity and value of the e-Stamp paper by sending the inbuilt number through SMS on 8100.

Challan form 32-A will now be generated based on the above data and buyer of the stamp paper can go to the nearest branch of the designated scheduled bank. This challan form 32-A can be generated by the citizen himself or from the bank or sub-registrar office.

On payment of stamp duty the bank counter will print the e-stamp paper on especially designed legal size paper. This stamp paper will be submitted to the sub-registrar/housing society/authority/land developers, as case may be. These authorities will be provided limited access to the database of e-Stamping where from they will be able to verify genuineness of e-Stamp paper, eliminating chances of usage of fake stamps.

On utilization of the stamp paper these authorities will inform the system through a click of button, whereupon the same entry in the database will be delisted, which will restrict reuse of same e-stamp paper.

There are two types of stamps: Judicial and non-Judicial, used for collecting stamp duty under Stamp Act 1899. Judicial stamps are used in relation to the administration of justice in courts and non-Judicial Stamps are used on documents related to the transfer of property, commercial agreements etc. The non-judicial stamp papers worth above Rs1,000 are referred to as high-value stamp papers. These stamp papers are only issued by the Treasury offices of the district. Almost 95.89 percent of revenue under stamp duty is collected from these high value stamps. The issuance of judicial e-Stamp papers was also launched on December 23, 2016.

In order to facilitate the public, besides Stamp Duty, Capital Value Tax, Registration and Comparison fees will also be collected through same challan.

According to Punjab Chief Minister, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, the government is speedily moving towards e-governance and after land record management information system, e-stamp papers system has been launched in 144 tehsils of the province.

“The new system is a revolutionary step of Punjab government for elimination of corruption and forgery. About 70 years old system of judicial and non-judicial stamp papers has been replaced with the new system in the province and new system will result in elimination of forgery and fraud and ensure easy access to data,” said Shahbaz Sharif.

According to him, e-stamp papers will also put an end to the practice of issuance of stamp papers in back dates and the problems of the people regarding correct evaluation of their properties will be resolved.

He said that under the new system, people will be able to obtain stamp papers within 15 minutes instead of three days and they will not have to pay frequent visits of offices and banks. Through e-stamp papers, the old system has been done away with under which the poor were deprived of their right through issuance of stamp papers in back dates.

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