‘No more abuse of power of attorney’21 January 2022
The law on power of attorney for land owners is often abused, Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury has said, promising measures to stop its widespread use.
"Those who live abroad are eligible to make a power of attorney through the embassies. But they will not give one after returning home," he said while speaking to reporters after attending a session of the Deputy Commissioners' Conference in Dhaka on Thursday. Bangladeshis can give the power of attorney to other people if they are ineligible to manage their land. People eligible to make a power of attorney include expatriates, inmates and those with special needs.
"Otherwise, generally, 'No [power of attorney]'. We'll stop it totally to end fraud because people are growing more greedy as the land is getting pricier," Saifuzzaman said.
The minister also said the discretionary power of officials will be reduced at the field level in land administration to stop harassment and arbitrariness. A draft "Land Crime Act" was is available on the ministry's website for the public to give their opinion.
He hailed the progress in the digitalisation of land registration system. "We gave a cutoff time to stop mutation being done manually. We've succeeded. Remote areas may face some problems, but we are 99 percent digitalised."
The government was working to fully digitalise the land development tax system so that everyone can pay the taxes online, according to him.
Saifuzzaman said the ongoing Bangladesh Digital Survey will be the "last survey" of the country. "We will start it through a pilot project in Barguna and Patuakhali by using drones and satellite images. If it is successful, it will be replicated across the country.
The DCs asked whether it can be done simultaneously. We said, 'No'."
"Because we will need to do it through trial and error. Accuracy is very important."