Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities concerned to transform land management into a digital one to put an end to the social and family problems regarding ownership of land and ensure hassle-free services.
"Land distribution system has to be digitalised to specify the ownership of land and thus the family and social problems over the issues would be solved," she said while inaugurating the country's first-ever three-day National Land Conference at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in Dhaka on Wednesday.
She said that it is very common in society that both brothers and sisters deprive each other of paternal property resulting in attacks, killings and conflicts.
"If a proper land management system can be ensured, the problem would be solved," she said.
The Prime Minister said that her government has taken measures to protect the ownership of land of all the people staying at home and abroad.
"Your (countrymen) property will remain yours wherever you stay at home and abroad. We have taken measures to secure and protect your rights," she said.
The Premier said people must not experience hassle while getting land-related services, adding, "The problem will not exist anymore as we are building a digital land system."
At the same function, the Prime Minister also launched seven innovative initiatives, such as the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Monument and the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Guchhagram Complex in Laksmipur, Registration-Mutation Interconnection, Smart Land Map, Smart Land Records, Smart Land Pedia, Smart Land Service Centre and Modern Land Offices at 400 upazilas across the country.
"Each of the seven initiatives, taken by our Land Ministry, will play a significant role in building a developed, prosperous and smart Bangladesh," she said.
The Prime Minister asked all concerned to work with sincerity to render hassle-free and quick land-related services to the people.
Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, MP, Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq, and Law Secretary Md. Golam Sarwar, spoke at the function, arranged by the Ministry of Land.
Land Secretary Md Mustafizur Rahman PAA gave the address of welcome while Assistant Commissioner (Land) of Rajbari Sadar Upazila Nurjahan Akhter Sathi spoke on behalf of the assistant commissioners.
A video documentary on the activities of the land was screened at the function.
The aim of the conference is to highlight the role of the Land Ministry in building a smart Bangladesh and find out the future challenges of digitization of land services.
Other objectives of the National Land Conference include informing citizens, government agencies, and stakeholders about the steps taken by the Ministry of Land, creating awareness among them about land management, and giving an idea about the existing laws and regulations related to land.
Sheikh Hasina reminded the countrymen of the 2013-14 nationwide mayhem of the BNP-Jamaat clique in the name of so-called movement in which they burned people to death alive by carrying out petrol bomb attacks on vehicles alongside damaging 70 public offices, including six land offices.
The Prime Minister said attacks on the offices exposed the dilapidated condition of the land offices across the country, adding that her government has built developed upazila land offices having all the modern facilities.
"Today, I have opened modern land offices in 400 upazilas. The BNP-Jamaat clique destroys while the Awami League creates for the welfare of the people. Our only target is to serve the people... our target is to ensure peace and prosperity for the countrymen," she said.
Briefly describing her government's measures for building a modern, time-worthy and digitised land management system, the premier said her government has introduced online land mutation and DCR with QR code and payment of land tax.
She said the countrymen can get land related services that include mutation, khatian and payment of land development tax from anywhere in the world by calling 16122 and searching land.gov.bd.
The premier said the land offices have so far received over 13 lakh phone calls, including 6800 from the people staying abroad.
She continued that one can know about his land status by searching using his national identity card (NID).
"People are getting the land related services at the quickest time by introducing the system...complete digitisation of the land management system would be in place soon," she said.
She added that the revenue collection from land related services has increased with the introduction of the modern systems, adding that so far Taka 770 crore has been collected as revenue from the sector.
The Prime Minister thanked the Land Ministry for winning the prestigious "United Nations Public Service Award-2020" in the 'Developing Transparent and Accountable Public Institutions" category and Bangladesh's Digital Land (Development) Tax system - under the Ministry of Land for wining World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Award 2022 .
"I congratulate the Ministry of Land from the core of my heart as it has brought honour for the country," she said.
The Prime Minister said her government is mechanizing agriculture to increase production following in the footsteps of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She said the Bangabandhu had made up to 25 bighas of land tax-free and cancelled all the certificate cases filed against the farmers immediately after the country's independence and announced that one can possess the maximum of 100 bighas of land and the additional land would be allocated to landless people.
The Prime Minister reiterated her call to the countrymen to bring every inch of fallow land under cultivation to boost agri-production so that Bangladesh need not depend on others for food grains.
She said the entire world, including the developed countries, has been rattling from the global economic and food crises arisen out of the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.
"So, we have to increase our food production. We don't want to depend on import anymore, rather we look forward to exporting our additional food-grains to other countries after meeting our demand," she said.
The Prime Minister also launched seven other initiatives of the land ministry in the programme, arranged by the Ministry of Land.
Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, MP, Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq, and Law Secretary Md Golam Sarwar, spoke at the function.
Other objectives of the National Land Conference, include informing citizens, government agencies, and stakeholders about the steps taken by the Ministry of Land, creating awareness among people about land management, and giving an idea about the existing laws and regulations related to land.
One of the seven initiatives is Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Monument and Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Guchhagram Complex, which was set up at Ramgatti in Lakshmipur, a memorable place visited by the Father of the Nation.
The remaining six initiatives are Registration-Mutation Interconnection, Smart Land Map, Smart Land Records, Smart Land Pedia, Smart Land Service Centre and Union Land Office.
Four seminars/panel discussions on various topics related to land management, such as 'Field Administration in Smart Land Management', 'Sairat and Khas Land Management', 'Acquisition Management, Government Cases, and Government Procurement Management', and 'Bangladesh Digital Survey', are scheduled to take place during the conference.
The second and third-day activities of the conference will be held at BIAM Foundation in the capital.