1.1 Legal Protection
1.2 Registries
1.3 Formal Ownership
In-Country Assessment Information

1. Property Rights

Goal – Property rights that are legally protected, secure, recorded in a single, accurate, widely accessible electronic registry and that lead to high levels of formal ownership for all citizens



1.1 Legal Protection (Strong)

Core Question: Does an effective and sufficient legal framework exist to protect property rights for all citizens?

Although limited in scope, property rights are clearly defined and citizens have the ability to challenge government expropriation through an established legal system. Corruption and inefficiencies in the court system exist, however these have more of an impact on other indicators and do not directly undermine legal protection.

Legal Framework (Strong)

1.1.1   Are property rights clearly defined and protected by law?

Rank 58 out of 148; Score 4.4 out of 7; Trend ­↑

While ranked highly by the World Economic Forum, the case backlog, inefficiency of the court system, and corruption means rights, though clearly defined, are difficult to protect as court intervention is time consuming be required.

Security of Tenure (Strong)

1.1.2   Can citizens challenge the legality of government takings?

Rank 48 out of 148; Score 3.8 out of 7; Trend ↓

Source: Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 – World Economic Forum

Bundle of Rights (Weak)

1.1.3   Survey Question

SQ1    What is the bundle of rights (group of rights such as occupancy, use and the right to sell or lease) associated with both residential and commercial property ownership?

Land is de facto categorized as agricultural and therefore faces numerous restrictions on ownership and usage. Long bureaucratic processes are required to categorize land as non-agricultural. Additionally, non-agricultural land can be divided into ownership categories with further restriction on sale or transfer. Land usage is subject to similar approval processes that in developed countries, however Indian bureaucracies are highly corrupt. Pro-tenant and rent control laws also make it difficult for property owners to maximize the value of the property. Demonstrating a step in the right direction, the Supreme Court restored mineral rights to landowners in 2013.

Source: Nitin Deshpande, Land Developer & The Times of India & Global Property Guide;;

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1.2 Registries (Strong)

Core Question: Does a reliable property registry exist including cadastral, title and mortgage lien information?

Cadastral information is widely available in certain areas including Mumbai an Maharashtra state, however rural regions typically lag behind more urban localities.


1.2.1  Cadastral Information (Strong)

Survey Questions

SQ 2   Is cadastral information (information about the dimensions and location of land parcels) accessible to the public?


SQ 3   Is zoning/permitted use information included are use regulations respected and enforced?

Zoning and permitted use information is included (agricultural vs. non-agricultural), but enforcement is hampered by corruption.

SQ 4   Are Geographic Information Systems (GIS) including Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) information used to create and update the registry?

Not currently, but individual states are in the process of resurveying and are incorporating GPS information during this process.

Mumbai Government Land Record Card Example survey and PRC
FIG Cadastral Template – India
Department of Registration and Stamps, Government of Maharashtra
Directorate of Information Technology, Government of Maharashtra

1.2.2  Title Registry (Strong)

Rank 92 out of 189; Trend ↑ What is the number of procedures required to register the transfer of a property from one owner to another?

5 What is the duration of time in calendar days that it would take to complete the transfer?

44  What is the total cost of the transfer including all fees, taxes, etc. expressed as a percentage of the value of the property?


Source – Doing Business 2014 – Registering Property, World Bank

1.2.3  Mortgage Registry (Weak)

Limited availability of title insurance and the required use of a notary slows down the registration process.

Survey Questions

SQ 5   The mandatory use of notaries or similar officials slows down and adds cost to the process. Does a notary need to be involved in the registration process?


SQ 6   Is information in the registry available electronically?

Yes, available when the correct plot number and other identifying information is in hand.

SQ 7   Title insurance is indemnity insurance against financial loss from defects in title and from the invalidity or unenforceability of mortgage liens. Is title insurance available to lenders?


Source: Jones Lang LaSalle India


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1.3 Formal Ownership (Weak)

Core Question: Do citizens understand and trust property rights institutions and avoid the informal sector?


A great number of residents within the city of Mumbai living and operating in the informal sector indicates that people either do not understand or trust the legal framework that exists for formal ownership.

Survey Questions

1.3.1 Land (Strong)

SQ 8   What is the status of land ownership?

Private agricultural, residential, and commercial uses are permitted with moderate government control. However limitation lies with obtaining the desired permit. Heavy corruption means it is an expensive process to change zoning or land use restrictions and will likely require some bribery. Additionally, zoning laws are not always enforced.

1.3.2 Home Ownership (Weak)

SQ 9   What is the percentage of formal home ownership?

38% of the population of Mumbai lives in formal housing, while 62% live in informal slums.

Source: 2011 Indian Census Results, Hindustan Times,

1.3.3  Informal Sector (Unknown)

What is the percentage of services firms that report competing with unregistered or informal firms?

Data not available 

Source: International Finance Corporation/The World Bank Enterprise Surveys


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