New Delhi: In a move that would benefit land owners, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday cleared the Rural Development Ministry's proposal to amend the century-old Registration Act to ensure greater accuracy in calculating land values. The amendment has been brought to the Registration Act, 1908 to "update and record" the market value of the land in the changed scenario so that farmers, whose land is acquired for various projects, get "real market value" under the proposed Land Acquisition Bill.
Elaborating the significance of the amendment in the context of proposed Land Acquisition Bill, a senior official said one of the key features of the proposed Land Bill is the greatly enhanced amount of compensation that is guaranteed to displaced families.
"However, to calculate this amount, the formula relies on the current market values in place -- the registered value. Registered values are notoriously opaque and often outdated," he said. Furthermore, land titles are often subject to dispute because of the unprofessional and ad hoc way in which they are recorded, the official said.
"These new amendments to the Registration Act will ensure greater accuracy in arriving at land values and in helping determine beneficiaries (through clear titles)," he added. The objective of the legislation says, "all manners of agreements relating to land or property need to be registered if they are to be considered as evidence in a court of law."
The new measure proposes compulsory registration of power of attorney. This has been brought as the Registration Act, 1908 does not make it mandatory for registration of a power of attorney and this has been exploited by individuals to transfer property without getting it registered.
It has resulted in enormous loss to the state exchequer and has given rise to numerous disputes. The measure also proposes to define the term "lease" more comprehensively "so as to make leases for periods below one year (but above a specified amount) compulsory registrable".