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Wednesday July 17, 2024

Punjab to amend 116-year-old law to facilitate expats to buy, sell property

Earlier, under Section 31 of Registration Act 1908, overseas Pakistanis used to go to embassies to register their power of attorney

By Asif Mehmood Butt
June 22, 2024
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz chairs a meeting of the Punjab Board of Revenue (BoR) on March 15, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — X/@PMLNDigital
Punjab Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz chairs a meeting of the Punjab Board of Revenue (BoR) on March 15, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — X/@PMLNDigital 

LAHORE: For the first time in Punjab’s history, a draft amendment to a 116-year-old law has been prepared to allow migrants living abroad to buy and sell property in Pakistan without legal complications.

Reliable sources told “Jang” that it has been decided to amend Section 31 of the Registration Act, 1908, after which any overseas Pakistani, instead of coming to Pakistan to buy and sell property, should submit their statement for the sale deed at the embassy. Earlier, under Section 31 of the Registration Act 1908, overseas Pakistanis used to go to the respective embassies to register their power of attorney and send it to Pakistan to buy or sell property, and then the person in Pakistan to whom the power of attorney was sent was considered authorized to buy or sell property face to face. Due to this old law, overseas Pakistanis had to face many legal complications in buying and selling their property and sometimes fraud.

The government of Punjab along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has developed a mechanism for this process under which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will notify the local commission in Pakistani embassies and high commissions abroad. These officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be assigned the powers of Sub-Registrar. After the amendment to Section 31(1) of the Registration Act 1908, if the emigrants want to buy or sell any property in Pakistan, they should appear in their respective embassy before the local commission (officer) appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the other hand, the person buying or selling the property will be present in the sub-registrar’s office in Pakistan, which would be verified through the NADRA system there. Overseas Pakistanis will register their statements in Pakistani embassies for buying and selling property without coming to Pakistan and their property would be transferred.

Sources said that with this initiative of the Punjab government, overseas Pakistanis will not have to come to Pakistan to buy and sell property, and it would save them millions of rupees in terms of time and travel expenses.