B for Blockchain or B for Bureaucracy – Andhra Pradesh trying to get it right

In a pocket in Andhra Pradesh, farmers are getting used to digitised-land registries of residential and commercial plots allotted to them. In short, they are warming up to blockchain.

Tamper-proof, duplication-proof, a proof for disputes, with near-zero-cost documentation and also automatic – what else can one hope for when records are generated and sent automatically to the registration office. This becomes significant when large-scale corruption and inefficiency in India’s land markets can shave 1.3 per cent off the country’s GDP every year (McKinsey).
But what an exercise, based on blockchain, as massive as this still misses is the mix of red tape and arm-twisting that can play out before information enters the system. The state’s use of a private blockchain also restricts visibility for the public. While records cannot be tampered with once an original record has been created, land acquisition process and corruption, however, raise a lot of questions about the original record.
Well, bribe and bureaucracy can still rear their heads at stages and loose-ends which have not been pre-empted yet. Now that’s a lesson for blockchain – that only a country like India can give.

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