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NLA receives funding to introduce electronic titling

Thursday, July 18, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Land Agency (NLA) has received funding under the World Bank's Foundations for Competitiveness and Growth Project, to introduce electronic titling to Jamaica.

“Electronic titling will reduce processing times for documents, improve efficiencies and create important linkages with other government agencies involved in the titling process,” Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Daryl Vaz has said.

He was speaking during his contribution to the 2019/20 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The minister informed that the World Bank has already funded preliminary studies by consultants to prepare the business case as to the system to be implemented, and propose the required legislative amendments to implement electronic titling. These, he said, have been completed.

Vaz also noted that legislative drafting instructions for the amendments to the relevant Acts are to be provided.

“The legislative drafting will be finalised during this year. Electronic titling will decentralise the registration process by removing the requirement to conduct all registration business at one central location,” he said.

“This ease of registering property is also expected to have an effect on timely and efficient access to credit for persons wishing to use land as collateral,” he added.

Vaz said the NLA has revised its process, and since May 2018 no longer requires that applicants submit proof of being registered at the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ).

“This policy shift has, consequently, removed the need and cost to secure the documentation from the COJ. A project plan has been finalised for the development of the e-land titling platform and transformation of the business processes with the NLA,” he noted.

Vaz reminded that the Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, in his Budget presentation, announced that with effect from April 1, 2019, the transfer tax on real estate would be reduced from five per cent to two per cent as well as the removal of the four per cent ad valorem tax to a flat rate of $5,000 per document.

“These reforms have directly and positively impacted the Registering Property indicator of the Doing Business Report,” Vaz pointed out.

— JIS


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