Directorate of Registration and Stamp Revenue, West Bengal is one of the oldest directorate under Government of West Bengal. Earlier the directorate was known as the Directorate of Registration. It was redesignated at its present form in the year 1994. As per available information, the earliest record on systematic registration in Presidency Division was started on 01.02.1781. Mr. Edward Tiretta was first appointed for a salary of one thousand sicca as registrar of memorials of deed affecting lands.
Initially the directorate was under the administrative control of Education Department. Later on it was moved under the administrative control of Judicial Department of Government of West Bengal. It has been working under administrative control of Finance Department of Government of West Bengal since 1993.
Since its inception in the British period, the directorate has been providing service to the people at all levels. It has taken several initiatives so as to provide better service to the people as well as to strengthen the exchequer. Among those, probably the two most important initiatives are – introduction of the concept of market value for calculating the amount of stamp duty chargeable on instruments relating to immovable properties, and implementation of Computerization of Registration of Documents (CORD) under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).
The concept of market value for calculating the amount of stamp duty chargeable on instruments relating to immovable properties was introduced in the year 1994. Prior to that there was no concept of assessment of market value of the properties involved in the instrument. The amount of stamp duty chargeable on instrument relating to immovable properties was calculated on the basis of consideration value. It was noticed by the Government that there were so many cases that the amount of consideration as stated in the instrument were either much lower than the actual amount of consideration or the amount of actual consideration was lower than the true value of the property due to several reasons. This was leading to evasion of stamp duty and registration fees and thereby a huge loss to exchequer. To overcome this difficulty the government introduced the concept of market value for calculating the amount of stamp duty chargeable on instruments relating to immovable property. Here, the Registering Officer has been relied upon to assess the market value of immovable property involved in the instrument and thereby determining the stamp duty and registration fees chargeable on that instrument. It has increased the revenue earnings of the directorate to a great extent, from 236 crores in 1994-95 to 4234 crores in the financial year of 2014-2015.
In this connection, it should be mentioned that Directorate of Registration and Stamp Revenue is not only the 2nd highest revenue generating directorate of Government of West Bengal, but also one of the front runners in terms of rate of growth in revenue earnings.
The another very important initiative taken up by the directorate is the implementation of Computerization of Registration of Documents (CORD) under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) which ran in full swing in all the Registration offices of the state from 200-08 after its initialization in 1999 on an experimental basis and subsequent implementation in a phased manner. A further leap has been made by the Directorate by successful introduction of web based registration system called e-Nathikaran in all 247 Registration offices across the state. The’ e- nathikaran’ system is actually an advanced version of ‘CORD’ system. It is a switch over from stand alone system to the centralized system in order to remove the difficulties faced in the decentralised CORD system and also to achieve the goal set under National Land Records Modernization Program (NLRMP). With the introduction of the ‘e-nathikaran’ system of registration in the State, the new changes have been brought in by the web-based architecture using Central Server. Robust connectivity (24×7) has been set up for effective implementation of the new e-nathikaran system all over the State. For the system of e-Nathikaran, the digitized market values for the erstwhile used RS plots of the CORD system have been migrated to their corresponding LR plots and such updated digitized market values of all the properties of the State are fed in the central server which caters both the Registration offices as well as the website accessible by the citizens for the purpose of market value generation.
It is really a pleasure to share the information that the directorate has got two awards at national level as recognition for successful implementation of Computerization of Registration of Documents (CORD) under National e-Governance Plan (NeGP).
The directorate feels happy to announce that this is the beginning of a journey of the directorate in the new era. It is putting continuous effort to improve the new system further so that certain services may be provided to citizen at their doorsteps in near future.