Chhimi Dema

To maintain uniform land mortgage data with financial institutions, the National Land Commission Secretariat (NLCS) launched an online land mortgage system (LMS) yesterday.

The LMS was integrated with financial institutions (FI) two months ago and it completed more than 49,000 transactions through the system.

NLCS’ secretary, Dasho Pema Chewang, said people had to spend lots of time, visiting various FIs to get authorisation letter while mortgaging land or property without a system related to mortgaging or ‘lien noting’ integrated with NLCS database to authenticate the Lagthram.

He said there were about 113,000 lands mortgaged with various FI. “This mortgage system seamlessly integrates all these land parcels and building structures.”

NLCS expects the LMS to facilitate online verification, which will improve public service delivery and make it convenient for FIs and clients. NLCS manages the LMS and authorised financial institutions could access it.

NLCS also developed e-Sakor platform last year to make land-related services more efficient. As of yesterday, there were about 19,000 transactions (3,000 in urban and 16,000 in rural) processed through the e-Sakor platform.

A press release from NLCS stated that the online e-Sakor system was integrated with data from FIs to render reliable and authenticate land information. The Bhutan Online Land Tax system collected about Nu 2M as rural land tax this year.

The myNLCS system to address grievances received about 28,000 applications, which helped to improve the efficiency and transparency of services from NLCS.

NLCS’ secretary said availability of these online services has enormously benefited the citizens by reducing a lot of transaction costs such as turnaround time (TAT), unnecessary expenses, and facilitating efficient services.

He also said that NLCS aspires to facilitate the country to slowly and persistently plan the rank in ease of doing business.

As of 2020, the country is ranked 53rd in registering of the property and 15th in paying tax out of 189 countries.

NLCS also launched an app for highlanders called the ‘Tsamdro App’ yesterday.

The app, which was developed since July, helped highlanders of Merak and Sakteng in Tashigang map a total of 743 plots measuring 78,548 acres of pastureland during the pilot exercise.

Tsamdros and Sokshings were reserved as state reserve forests following the enactment of Land Act 2007.

His Majesty the King granted the Tsamdro Use Thram (TUT) to the highlanders as kidu.

Merak gup Lama Rinchen said that getting the opportunity to measure his own tsamdro gave him immense satisfaction. “Numerous disputes arose in the gewog before the tsamdro App. The app resolved these issues.”

He said that the tsamdro app was user-friendly and convenient.