Digitising stamp papers

The next time you want to get a property registered, you might not have to run around applying for stamp papers and then match different denomination of stamp papers to add up to the total amount.

Print Edition: May 29, 2008

The next time you want to get a property registered, you might not have to run around applying for stamp papers and then match different denomination of stamp papers to add up to the total amount. In fact, you won’t need stamp papers at all. Thanks to electronic-stamping, all you would need is a ‘payment certificate’ from a designated collection centre, which can even be your neighbourhood bank.

E-stamping, that will gradually replace stamp papers, is computer-based stamping of documents where the entire database is maintained electronically. The government has appointed the Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) as the record keeping agency. A huge advantage of this system is that it is designed to print out stamp certificate of any denomination starting from Re 1.

Starting April, Delhi has become the first state to shift to e-stamping of documents though the system has also been launched on a pilot basis in eight other cities in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. However, the new system will not apply to judicial stamp paper used in sworn affidavits and other documents that do not involve transaction of immovable property. The e-stamping system also promises to take care of the possibility of a fake or forged stamp paper. Each tamper-proof certificate comes with a unique identification number (UIN). The authenticity of the certificate can be verified on the website www.shcilestamp.com.

The true worth of this new system will come when every single transaction requiring a stamp paper is digitised. Also, there are a few remaining kinks that need to be worked out. For one, a certificate of one state can’t be used in another state since there is no pan-India network yet. Also, old documents cannot be upgraded to e-stamps. However, the first step towards a digital future has now been taken.

— Rakesh Rai


Stamp Paper

Fill up requisition form at ASC File a written application at revenue department for stamp papers
Official receives payment, feeds details in the system and shows a preview certificate
System generates a stamp duty paid certificate with Unique Identification Number (UIN) in three minutesGets stamp papers in 1-3 days after payment realised by the revenue department 
The document to be registered is printed on plain paper The agreement is printed on the stamp paper; a mistake means starting again
The client approaches the sub-registrar to register his document
Registrar verifies the certificate with the help of the UIN. Registration becomes complete after the sub-registrar locks the e-stamp certificate after verifying the contentsRegistrar puts in the signature, but there is no way of verifying if the stamp duty has been paid by the client or if the paper is fake

Baggage woes

Word’s worth

“In the reasonable future, I do not expect any increase in interest rates by the public-sector banks”
— P Chidambaram, finance minister

“India cannot afford a 12-15% wage inflation as has been happening or we will lose our competitive edge”
— KV Kamath, president, CII

“Inflation is not antigrowth. In fact, it will help growth in the medium term”
— Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission

“Mutual fund as a product is far superior than Ulip. Mutual funds allow lot more liquidity and the basket of choice is wider”
— Sandeep Dasgupta, CEO, Bharti AXA Investment Managers

Source: Bloomberg, Hindu Business Line and Economic Times

Few things are as stressful as reaching a destination only to learn that your baggage is missing. A minor consolation is that you will be compensated for the lost luggage, so what if it is only a pittance— Rs 800 per kg of damaged luggage and around Rs 20,000 for lost baggage. But now, with Lok Sabha passing the Carriage by Air (Amendment) Bill, there is a lot of good news for Indian passengers travelling abroad.

The Bill, which adopts the Montreal Convention, ups the compensation for lost luggage to $1,400 or Rs 56,000 per passenger and that for damaged bags to Rs 960 per passenger. Remember that you will be compensated a fair market value for your belongings and not replacement value. The liability to pay passengers is on the airport, though airlines work in tandem with airports and insurers to facilitate refunds.

— Narayan Krishnamurthy

Allotment first, payment later

Those who have been there, done that will tell you that an IPO is a lot like playing Russian Roulette—you apply for an IPO and then wait, fingers crossed, to see if you land some shares. It was a double whammy if you weren’t allotted any shares. You not only missed out on the opportunity to make money from the shares but your application money would have earned a wee bit interest in the bank. So now Sebi is working on a system, akin to the credit card system, where you only have to pay after you get an allotment.

“The bank will clear the money from the applicant’s bank account the moment it gets intimation on allotment,” explains CB Bhave, chairman, Sebi. This, however, will mean the coming together of several intermediaries to work out a technologybacked system which empowers investors. The move will dent the additional income that merchant bankers make by holding on to money for short durations between IPO collection and allotment. Given the path Sebi is taking recently, Bhave is all set to make the capital markets more conducive for retail investor participation.

— Narayan Krishnamurthy

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