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Economy

Sh200m budget cut to slow down land deals digitisation

Ardhi House
Ardhi House, Ministry of Lands headquarters in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Parliament has revised the budget for automation of land transactions following delays in its implementation, further frustrating the Ministry of Lands’ efforts to digitise.

The Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC) has slashed Sh200 million for the year starting July.

The ministry had planned to condense the land procedures into three steps under the Public Land Information Management System (PLIMS) project to save time and costs involved in registering land.

However, this has not happened after government opted to domicile all ICT related projects at the Ministry of ICT.

“The committee was informed that the project had stalled due to bureaucratic challenges posed by the resolution by the government,” said BAC in its recommendations tabled in the House last week.

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It currently takes developers and landowners nine processes to register property.

Plans to implement the PLIMS ran into headwinds with the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) after it emerged that the platform may exclude may exclude lawyers from the multibillion shilling land conveyancing business.

Lawyers argued that that their physical presence was necessary to guarantee the integrity of the process.

Lawyers earn commissions as commissioners of oath where they append a seal on land transfer documents. They also earn agency and processing fees when a large chunk of land is subdivided.

Both parties agreed to formation of task force to forge guidelines for online transactions, essentially ending the stalemate.

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