Now Paying Stamp Duty online will soon to be possible

The State government’s e-payment initiative for stamp duty and registration charges is a step towards streamlining the process.

With an aim to creating a hassle-free environment for the recovery of stamp duty and registration charges, the state government recently announced that it will launch e-payment gateways. Additionally, the government would also facilitate payment of stamp duty for leave and licence deals through the internet by applying digital signatures.

The state government intends to reduce interface between its employees and the tax payer and thereby curb corrupt practices through e-payment.

Incidentally, the collection of stamps and registration is the second highest after value added tax and sales tax in the state. Moreover, the idea is to make payment possible through credit and debit cards.

The state government also proposes to introduce payment of stamp duty for leave and licence deals through digital signatures. For this, the licensor and licensee need to have digital signatures, which would bring in more security.

Earlier, Project SARITA (Stamps and Registration Information Technology based Administration), which is operational since January 2001, encompasses the entire state of Maharashtra. Till date, close to 2.2 million documents have been registered across the state and revenue handled is Rs 5,000 crore. Approximately, eight million people directly benefit from SARITA, annually, which has seen innovative application of the public private partnership in the betterment of quality of service given to millions.

These current initiatives are part of the 32 key resource areas (KRA) fixed by the state to increase the pace of development and revenue collection.

The State department of registration and stamps has 412 offices with employee’s strength of 2,500. It includes registration of deeds or instruments and their preservation.

The registration process encompasses the sub-functions such as receipt generation, valuation, recovery of evaded stamp duty, refund of excess stamp duty, adjudication and issuing notices. So far, the department in its IT initiative has computerised and automated 360 sub-registrar offices, 31 district level offices, nine division level offices and the headquarters in Pune.

The state earns revenue of Rs 12,500 crore through stamp duty, while about 2,00,000 registration of leave and license take place annually in the state. Even though Stamp duty payment is not binding under the Indian Registration Act for leave and license deals, it is mandatory in Maharashtra.

The government had mobilised Rs 12,500 crore through stamp duty and registration in 2010-11 and it has set a target of Rs 15,000 crore for 2011-12.

-      Adv. R. P. Rathod.