Bhutanese citizens can now get their property titles transferred online through eCitizen portal.

eCitizen portal is an online system which includes the initiation of property transfer application by the parties, internal processes at thromde and approval processes at the National Land Commission (NLC).

The system was piloted since October 2016 to facilitate property transactions in Thimphu Thromde, Phuentsholing Thromde, and in the townships of Bajothang and Khuruthang.

About 279 transactions have been initiated till date. NLC looks to extend the system to the remaining thromdes and dzongkhag thromdes soon.

Director of NLC, Tenzin namgay, said that before the launch of eCitizen system, NLC had urban and rural eSakors.

“In the eSakor systems, citizens didn’t have direct access to the system. People had to manually fill up land transaction forms and submit to the thromdes or gewogs. Then from there, data would be uploaded in the system. eCitizen portal would allow users to go online, register and apply for transactions of land and flats,” he said.

Secretary of NLC, Pema Chewang, said that under the Royal command, the National Cadastral Resurveying Programme (NCRP) was launched in 2008 and within a span of five years the resurveying exercise was completed in all dzongkhags and thromdes. “The system has an online land mortgage module which would enhance efficiency and security of land mortgaging process.”

He said that before the functioning of the new system, Doing Business 2017 report revealed that it took 77 days to register a property in Bhutan and that another study indicated that on average it took 90 days to transfer a property in Thimphu Thromde.

Pema Chewang said: “After the new system became operational in Thimphu Thromde, the average time taken per transaction was reduced to 62 days. As the portal is stabilised further, number of days it takes to register a property is likely to be reduced.”

With the support of World Bank, NLC is in the process of developing online feedback mechanism loop in the system which would help NLC receive, analyse, and implement feedback.

Tenzin Namgay said that before the project was launched, a technical team supported by World Bank assessed the needs of NLC.

He said: “Through this online system, we want to minimise physical movement of people to get service delivered and to provide more secure transactions through checks and balances in the system.”

Chairman of the Royal Civil Service Commission, Dasho Karma Tshiteem, launched the portal in Thimphu yesterday.

Rinchen Zangmo