Hail the new breed of revenue thieves!

ITAHARI: Revenue thieves have a new and secure trick up their sleeves. They register land in the name of their wives to avoid paying revenue.

The growing trend of registering land in the name of the wife is due to the government discount of 25 percent in revenue for women in land registration. “A growing number of people is registering land in women’s names. However, the real landowners are men,” said Krishna Bhattarai and Netra Koirala, officials at the District Land Revenue Office, Sunsari. There is another motive behind registering land in women’s name. “Many people don’t want to share the land with their brothers. So, they register land in their wives’ names to ward off any trouble in future,” Bhattarai said. If records of the revenue office are anything to go by, women are the owners of more than half the land registered in Sunsari.

In the fiscal year 2008-09, some 20,332 women had land registered in their names. Of them, 10,826 are from rural areas and 9,506 from urban areas. Woman activist Laxmi Gautam of All Nepal Women’s Association said that these women cannot not sell land on their own though they are the legal owners.