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February 18, 2020

PLRA unsatisfactory performance: Punjab govt asks commissioners to reintroduce patwari system

Lahore

February 18, 2020

LAHORE:The Punjab government has asked all divisional commissioners to partially reintroduce the patwari system to overcome the ongoing problems being faced by the district administration in fulfilling its several official tasks.

Introduced in the British era, the patwari system was rolled back by the former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif. He had introduced the Punjab Land Record Authority (PLRA) for computerisation of the land record with the World Bank financial assistance.

Sources in the Board of Revenue (BoR) revealed that the district administration used to assign a patwari various social, political and administrative tasks, including record-keeping of weather, collecting crop harvest data, collecting Abiyana as well as agriculture tax, reporting village crimes, updating population voters’ registers.

Sources said the BoR Punjab has asked divisional commissioners to allocate two kanungoi (revenue circle) in each district. Once the commissioners nominate these two circles, tehsildars and patwaris will be posted.

A patwari possessed a Basta (bag) which contained seventeen registers having records like Register Intiqalat, Register of Khasra Gurdawri, Register Haqdaraan Zamindar, Field Book and many others. This is why a patwari, though a very low grade official, held a very important position in society.

Sources said that the PLRA failed to digitise record of Shajrah-e-Nasb, Register Haqdaran-e-Zamin, Register Gardawari, Register Tagayarat-e-Kasht, Register Intiqaalat, Field Book, Indexes, Roznamcha, Partaal Roznamcha Waqaati, Roznamcha Hidayati, Roznamcha Karguzari and Village Books. This is why the need for a patwari remains there always, sources added.

Punjab Revenue Minister Malik Muhammad Anwar told The News that with the end of role of patwaris in the revenue system, the district administrations were facing difficulties in completion of various tasks. Patwaris are the main field force and, after losing their powers in the land record, they also lost their influence on people in other fields. He said the PTI government wanted to integrate patwaris in the computerised system so that the system could work properly and give benefit to the general public. He said the previous government has established 152 Arzi Record Centres during the last 10 years, while the incumbent government has planned 115 new centres in one year, out of which buildings of 50 per cent been are ready.

The Revenue minister said that patwaris are doing many important tasks and their integration in the system would improve it. He said so far 90 per cent land record had been computerised. The minister revealed that staff working at the computerised centres are untrained and the incumbent government has also planned their training from Patwar School, while the Public Service Commission was asked to recruit new graduates to be posted at upcoming centres.

Director General Punjab Land Revenue Authority (PLRA) Moazam Sipra said that so far no final decision had been taken and the government was going to introduce patwaris in specific circles. After three to four months, their performance would be assessed to address the loopholes in the present revenue system, he added.