By Imran Khan
Patna, Dec 3 (IANS) Sambhu Prasad Singh, a deed writer, is worried as registration rates for plots of land and flats in Bihar have fallen drastically after the demonetisation on November 8.
There are 124 registry offices across Bihar. At the Patna registry office both flat and shop registrations have been badly affected.
This has led to a steep dip in Singh’s and his half-a-dozen agents’ earnings. They are struggling for livelihood.
“It is not only my story. Demonetisation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has caused a havoc for deed writers, their agents and others directly or indirectly dependant on land deals at registry offices across the state,” Singh, a resident of Kankarbagh here, told IANS.
Janesar Akhtar, another deed writer here, said the ongoing cash crunch was bound to hit them hard.
“Where is cash with people to go for land or flat registration? Demonetisation has taken away everything. It will take months for the situation to become normal again,” Akhtar said.
He showed serious reservation about the Centre’s claim of making things normal by 2017.
Apart from deed writers and their associates, state government’s own revenue earning were also hit due to low registration of land plots and flats after November 8.
“Land registrations figure shows that there has been a dip of nearly 32 per cent from November 8 to November 24 as per the records of registry offices,” an official of the registration department told IANS.
According to the state government’s data, from October 25 to November 8 the number of land registrations in Bihar was 22,178, while it has dwindled to 15,118 between November 9 to November 24.
“In the first week after demonetisation, hardly any registrations happened, but later it slowly improved in view of the cash flow,” an official said.
“The state revenue earning also decreased. In October, the state government earned Rs 169.36 crore through 54,769 land and flat registrations. But in November, the registration numbers fell to 26,251, roughly half of the October number, and the government earned merely 83.17 crore,” the official said.
A senior official of registration department, A.K. Das admitted that the number of registrations has decreased after demonetisation. “It is an outcome of lack of cash flow in the market,” he said.
Das said only 10 to 12 per cent of registry fee and stamp duty can be deposited online and other duties are usually in cash.
(Imran Khan can be contacted at [email protected])