REVENUE ADMINISTRATION OF THE BRITISH
The British policies revolved around getting maximum income from land without caring much about Indian interests of the cultivators. They abandoned the age -old system of revenue administration and adopted in their place a ruthless policy of revenue collection.
After their advent, the British principally adopted three types of land tenures as follows-
a)Zamindari System or the Permanent Settlement
c)The Ryotwari System
The Permanent Settlement-
- Zamindari System was introduced by Cornwallis in 1793 through Permanent Settlement Act.
- The Permanent Land Revenue Settlement introduced in Bengal, which was later extended to the provinces of Bihar and Orissa.
- The zamindars of Bengal were recognised as the owners of land as long as they paid the revenue to the East India Company regularly.
- The amount of revenue that the zamindars had to pay to the Company was firmly fixed and would not be raised under any circumstances.
Warren Hastings introduced the annual lease system of auctioning the land to the highest bidder. It created chaos in the revenue administration.
- Ryotwari System was introduced by Thomas Munro in 1820.
- The Ryotwari settlement was introduced mainly in Madras, Berar, Bombay and Assam.
- Under this settlement, the peasant was recognised as the proprietor of land.
- There was no intermediary like a Zamindar between the peasant and the government.
- The land revenue was fixed for a period from 20 to 40 years at a time.
Under this settlement it was certainly not possible to collect revenue in a systematic manner. The revenue officials indulged in harsh measures for non payment or delayed payment.
- Mahalwari system was introduced in 1833 during the period of William Bentick.
- It was introduced in Central Province, North-West Frontier, Agra, Punjab, Gangetic Valley, etc of British India.
- Under this system the basic unit of revenue settlement was the village or the Mahal.
- The entire land of the village was measured at the time of fixing the revenue.
- The responsibility of paying the revenue rested with the entire Mahal or the village community.
Though the Mahalwari system eliminated middlemen between the government and the village community and brought about improvement in irrigation facility, yet its benefit was largely enjoyed by the government.