Traditionally both in India and elsewhere the reigning systems have always stood in staunch and collective opposition against the march of technological innovation. In fact it only recently with the advent of powerful organizations buoyed by the free market that the powers-that-be have begun to embrace innovation on terms that aren;t their own. New-age start-ups such as SignDesk that are using technology to fundamentally alter the landscape.

A tame but insightful illustration of this rather grand statement is the humble case of the process of stamping in India. For those unfamiliar with this process - Stamping also referred to as Franking is the process of making certain documents official or legal. It usually involves the affixing of a physical stamp on a document the stamp paper used for this purpose is procured from an authorized vendor and a small fee called a stamp duty is usually levied for this which is a source of revenue for the government.

This entire process was once completely physical in nature to disastrous results. In fact in hindsight it quite obvious that such a process could be grossly abused and turned into something almost painfully impractical. What follows is a brief account of some of the ill-effects of the Indian franking process that were all directly caused by the nature of this process.

[caption id="attachment_142094" align="alignleft" width="293"]Krupesh Bhat Founder SignDesk Krupesh Bhat - Founder of SignDesk[/caption]

Krupesh BhatFounder SignDesk statesStamping is so ubiquitous in activities such as taking loans ratifying legal documents and executing contracts that people take for granted how inconvenient the physical stamping process is. I;m glad to say that digital stamping has actually helped people in this respect.

Krupesh further addsWe;re in the business of making processes smoother and easier for everyone involved andstamp.itis a good representation of what our mission is. However we;re not done with stamping yet. We;ve got some exciting things in the pipeline that will make big waves in the arena of digital stamping as well as eSign and eKYC.

We;re seeing a turn in the tide now as numerous Indian states including Karnataka Maharashtra and Gujarat have implemented the e-stamping process to great success he further added.

The World Bank reported recently in a document titled Stamp Duties in Indian States: A Case for Reform that - Fraudulent production and use of stamp paper has been recognized as a significant problem in the administration of stamp taxes and duties. In fact the very same report states that stamp-related fraud cost various Indian statesabout Rs. 78000 crore from 1993 - 2003.

Further the same report states that the forgery of stamp papers cost State Governments up to Rs. 10000 crore in lost revenues in a single year. In fact experts have said that the money lost roughly equals the revenue collected from the stamp papers.

Additionally a CAG report in 2011 indicated that stamp duty scams continue to rock several state administrations for example in Uttar Pradesh where stamp duty evasion in the sale of sugar mills cost the government Rs. 1200 crore.

Even the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) admitted as much in a survey conducted as part of a Report of the Working Group on Discounting of Bills by Banks in which 42% of the responders to their questionnaire called the stamping of documents cumbersome.

Finally a couple of the other myriad problems with this system have to do with the inordinate amount of time that it takes for a document to be stamped and the losses incurred due to this and the depletion of resources due to the mass production of stamp papers which are all grave issues.

However it isn;t all doom and gloom. Innovation and technology arrive to the rescue once again in the form of e-stamping. This is a process that quite resembles e-signing but for stamps instead of signs and as one might expect this digitizing of the physical process of stamping does away with most of its problems.

Due to the digital and secure nature of e-stamps it is quite impossible to forge them. Additionally committing fraud with the duty levied on these stamps is equally difficult due to the security afforded by the digital nature of the stamps.

Bureaucracy and the consequent corruption and inconvenience are also done away with as people can complete the majority of the e-stamping process online thus severing the need to jump through hoops and grease palms.

But it isn;t enough to simply be aware of technology; sometimes the situation requires a Prometheus of sorts to bring this technology down to the mortals. In this case in particular there a proverbial beacon of light that incidentally has been shining in solitude for a long time against the pervasive darkness of bureaucracy and wastefulness. a product launched by Desk Nine Pvt. Ltd. who also operates a Do-It-Yourself platform for legal documentation has been the pioneer in this regard since its inception and subsequent launch in the year of 2016.

Their product -SignDesk which provides digital stamping was one of the first to ever address this issue that the country faced and to some extent continues to face in a way that embraces innovation.

States inIndia however do not currently have a homogenous system that governs the stamping process. The disparate nature of this system is a far cry from the cohesion and uniformity that a large country like India requires.

In order to remedy thisSignDesk.comwill offer an API-based E-stamping solution that covers 24 states in India with many more soon to follow. This product is set to revolutionize the way stamping is done throughout the country.

In light of this states such as Tripura are looking to follow suit and the future now looks to be bright thanks in no small part to the spirit of innovation and its manifestation in the form of SignDesk and the people responsible for it.

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