Colombo property registrations now in double quick time | Sunday Observer

Colombo property registrations now in double quick time

P.M.B. Udayakantha
P.M.B. Udayakantha

Hot on the heels of Sri Lanka’s Registrar of Companies launching eROC and speeding up the company registration process, the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade last week announced yet another initiative that advances the island’s investment climate. Accordingly, the time taken to register properties in the Colombo District has also been halved from around 51 days previously to 26 days with the near completion of the digitalization process of the Land Registry.

“This is a key milestone paving the way for taxpayers to receive an efficient service at comparatively less cost. The single window system which we hope to roll out by end this year will further reduce existing lead time to a mere five working days,” Surveyor General, P.M.B. Udayakantha, who heads the Registering Property Task Force (RPTF) told The Sunday Observer.

Noting that out of the 45 land registries islandwide they have been able to complete digitization of land records for 15 registries, Udayakantha highlighted that once the system is identified to be foolproof, they will then be able to roll out the process islandwide.

“Thereafter we will have to do some improvements in the identification of land parcels. In another two years, we will be able to connect the system to the country online,” the Surveyor General added.

The government commenced the process of streamlining property registering process in Colombo in 2015 with the newly set up RPTF aimed at simplifying regulatory mechanisms in consultation with several other institutions.

This “Online Land Registers Search” facility introduced as a pilot on in January is available at http://www.elr.gov.lk/elandregistry/welcome.action.

Anyone seeking to use online search will first need to register by paying an annual membership fee of Rs. 500 and subsequently pay Rs. 500 for each Registry Search.

In line with the overall project, three certificates that dealt with ownership, non-vesting and street line issued by the Colombo Municipal Council needed by a person acquiring a property can be obtained within three days. The ongoing project is in line with World Bank’s Doing Business Index initiative meant to help a particular country achieve a higher ranking in facilitating transactions.

Headed by Surveyor General, the RPTF team comprise of the Registrar Generals Department, Colombo Municipal Council, Western Province Revenue Department, Valuation Department, and Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka. 

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