An Explainer: Land Title
Land in a country is vast and is owned in parts by many individuals. Land titles are a way to ascertain an individual’s ownership over a land parcel. In other words, a land title is an official record stating that a particular piece of an immovable asset belongs to a particular person. For governments, maintaining land records is very important, as a major part of their revenues come from collecting taxes on property transactions. To transfer a land title in his or her name, a buyer has to pay authorities money in the form of stamp duty and registration charges. Lack of clarity on land titles does not only cost a buyer but also hits the government’s tax collections.
As far as India is concerned, land title records are poorly managed, especially in rural areas. The fact that land keeps getting transferred from one person to another also makes it difficult to maintain land title records. So, land ownership-related disputes that go on for ages keep civil courts of the country extremely busy. While there have been efforts to bring clarity over land titles in urban areas of the country, it would be a long time before the goal is fully achieved. Doing so in rural areas is even more challenging.