Financial Results of Reassessment

 

The following statement shows that reassessment increased the annual revenue of the district at commutation prices by Rs. 222077. The new demand appears as reduced on objection or appeal up to the Commissioner.

 

Tahsil

Old demand (in rupees)

New demand (in rupees)

Amount of increase (in rupees)

Percentage of increase

Percentage of the true net assets absorbed

Percentage of the permissible demand under section 51 of the Land Revenue Act

Tarn Taran

549333

661299

111966

20.4

13.9

98.5

Amritsar

625572

693010

67438

10.8

15.3

88.3

Ajnala

354907

397580

42673

12.0

15.4

83.8

Total District

1529812

1751889

222077

14.5

14.7

90.7

 

 

            The new demand consumed 5.3 percent of the gross assets of the district, as determined on the basis of the produce estimate (at the last settlement 8.8 per cent was taken), and its incidence on the area was:

 

Tahsil

Rate per cultivated acre

 

Rs.       As       Ps

Tarn Taran

2    -    2    -      5

Amritsar

2    -    10    -    9

Ajnala

2    -    6    -      6

Total District

2   -     6    -       3

 

Forecast and Fact

 

            These results were broadly in line with the forecast of what the district might have been expected to yield. In the light of the absolute limit of one-fourth of the net assets imposed by section 48-B of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, an assessment absorbing only 14.7 per cent might seem unduly generous. This was where the independent limit set by section 51 of the Act came in to prevent the average rate of incidence on the cultivated area of the new demand exceeding the old rate of incidence by more than one-fourth (except in special circumstances which did not affect the rural Amritsar) the Government had voluntarily foregone 9.3 per cent of the maximum levy permissible under this provision. It was only this voluntary sacrifice of revenue which required comment. In the Tarn Taran Tahsil, the Settlement Officer had gone near enough to the permissible to make no odds. In Amritsar, which was of much the same strength, the major consideration in pitching the demand so much further below the permissible was the expediency of reducing the disparity in the incidence of assessment between the two tahsils. It would be seen that although the percentage of increase over the old demand was in Amritsar a little more than half of what it was in Tarn Taran, Amritsar would still pay out more of its net assets to meet the new demand. In Ajnala, the forecast recognized that it would be impossible to take the maximum throughout the tahsil; and whereas the Settlement Officer had gone within fifteen per cent of it in the two strong circles, the two weaklings paid less than eighty per cent of what might have been demanded of them. This leniency needed no justification in view of their circumstances.

 

The Sliding Scale

 

            It was in fact difficult to convince the landowners of the district that there was any generosity in the proposals at all. Conditions had so completely changed since the forecast report was written in 1929 that its statistical rise of seventy and its effective rise of thirty per cent in prices had given place to current agricultural prices poorer by some six per cent those adopted for the last settlement twenty-five years before in 1910. The commutation prices stood at rather more than 178 per cent of the current market prices and it was not easy for the people to accept the assumption made in the Land Revenue Assessment Rules that the range of future prices, on which the settlement would be paid, would not be dissimilar to the average prices of the past which these commutation prices represented. To cover the disparity without impairing the law or surrendering the potential revenue, the sliding scale was adopted as a feature of the settlement and came under very detailed examination, of which discussions may be seen in the assessment and final reports and in the orders of the Government.

 

            The assessment of land revenue was subjected to the sliding-scale method for the first time in 1935, but the procedure for determining remissions under it varied from time to time. With a view to simplifying the calculations of the remissions, the method of 5 per cent units of annual remissions was replaced by the use of half-anna in every harvest.

 

Term of Settlement

 

            The term of settlement had been fixed by statute at forty years. Accordingly, the settlement runs for forty years from the actual introduction of the new assessment, i.e. from the actual introduction of the new assessment, i.e. from the rabi of 1945 in the Tarn Taran Tahsil and from the kharif of 1945 elsewhere. Originally, the new assessment was to begin from 1940. The postponment from 1940 to 1945 was the Government’s fulfillment of its pledge that for the first five years after reassessment nobody should pay more.

 

Settlement of the Patti Tahsil

 

            On the partition of 1947, Patti was formed a sub-tahsil out of the 186 villages including Patti, of the Kasur Tahsil of the Lahore District (Pakistan) transferred to the Amritsar District. It was raised to a tahsil in 1949. On August 14, 1952, 67 villages of the Tarn Taran Tahsil were transferred to the Patti Tahsil. Out of these, 52 villages were transferred back to the Tarn Taran Tahsil on June 25, 1956, and one more village in 1962. The Patti Tahsil was made a subdivision in 1955.

 

            The villages transferred from the Lahore District had been assessed along with that district. Their history of settlement is, therefore, somewhat different from the history of settlement of the rest of the Amritsar District. On the annexation of the Punjab by British in 1849, a summary settlement was carried out by Captain Tytler. The First Settlement of 1852-56 was also a summary one. This was followed by the Regular Settlement of 1864-68. The Third Regular Settlement of the area was made in 1888, in which almost all the estates were remeasured and a new record was prepared. The Fourth settlement was done by R.C. Boslster in 1912-16. The assessment circles constituting this tahsil are Majha, Mitha, Khara, Uthar, and Bet Bangar.

 

            The Fifth Regular Settlement, which is in force, was made in 1935-39. It was almost on the same principles as in other tahsils, narrated above, but for the deviation that the areas within the municipal limits were constituted as separate urban assessment circle and assessed separately. In this case, the Patti town area was assessed separately. The areas, put to non-agricultural use, were assessed at higher rates.

 

            The Bet Bangar Circle includes the villages lying on the Dhaya of the River Satluj. Nine revenue estates of Tahsil Patti lie across the river towards the Firojpur District.6

 

6. Nine villages of Tahsil Patti, viz. Bala Megha, Muthuanwala, Jama Megha, Kamalwala, Nihala Lavara, Dehra Ghara, Tali Ghulam, Bandala and Kaleke Hithar, were transferred to the Tahsil and District Firozpur, vide Punjab Govern,ment, Revenue Department, Notification No. 564-Rg-I-70/727, dated the 17th March, 1970.

 

            The Hithar Circle is on the bank of the Satluj. A good number of villages were included in the fluctuating rate system as there was every likelihood of diluvion and alluvion. Some parts of the villages have now permanently come under the lake area above the Harike Headworks.

 

            The Majha Mitha Circle has very small holdings but the cultivation is fairly intensive. The soil is very fertile. Most of the land is irrigated by the Upper Bari Doab Canal. The rates for the various circles of assessment are as under:

 

 

Tahsil

Rate per cultivated acre

 

Rs.       As       Ps

Hithar

0          15        1

Bet Bangar

1          9          5

Majha Mitha

1          13        0

 

            The 15 villages of  the old tarn Taran Tahsil, which now form part of Patti Tahsil, were assessed in the Centre Majha assessment circle. This assessment circle has been discussed under the Tarn Taran Tahsil.

 

            The fluctuating rates for the diluvial area are as under:-

 

Villages partly or wholly in the diluvial area

 

Assessment circle

Name of estate

Rate per ghumaon (matured) per year

Chahi and Chahi Sailab

Sailab

Barani

Banjar

RRe

Aas

PPs

RRe

AAs

PPs

RRe

AAs

PPs

RRe

AAs

PPs

Hithar

1.Jhugian Nur Mohamad

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

2. Jhugian Natha Singh

1

2

0

1

0

0

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

3.Muthianwala

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

4. Jama Megha

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

5. Bala Megha

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

6. Kamalwala

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

7. Nahala Vohra

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

8. Dhira Gora

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

9. Tali Ghulam

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

10. Bundala

0

12

0

0

12

4

0

8

0

0

1

6

 

11. Ram Singh Wala

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

12. Rasul Pur

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

13.Bhangala

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

14. Tut

1

2

0

1

0

0

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

15. Radhal Ke

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

16. Jhugian Pir Bakhsh

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

17. Bhojo Ke

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

18. Baho Wal

0

12

0

0

12

4

0

8

0

0

1

6

 

19. Bangla Rai

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

20. Kot Budha

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

21. Balhar Ke

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

22. Kaleke Hithar

0

12

0

0

12

4

0

8

0

0

1

6

 

23. Jalloke

0

12

0

0

12

4

0

8

0

0

1

6

 

24. Gaggar Ke

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

25. Bhane Ke

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

26. Dhmani Wala

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

27. Gadai Ke

0

12

0

0

12

4

0

8

0

0

1

6

 

28. Bhura Hithar

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

29. Malahanawala

0

12

0

0

12

4

0

8

0

0

1

6

 

30. Gholi Wala

0

14

0

0

13

4

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

31. Kutti Wala

0

12

0

0

12

4

0

8

0

0

1

6

Bet Bangar

32. Marar

1

0

0

0

12

0

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

33. Harike

1

0

0

0

12

0

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

34. Bhoh

1

0

0

0

12

0

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

35. Kirtowal

1

0

0

0

12

0

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

36. sabhra

1

0

0

0

12

0

0

10

0

0

1

6

 

            The Patti town forming part of the Urban Assessment Circle was separately assessed. In this case, special assessment rates were proposed for areas occupied by buildings, such as shops, residential houses, factories, and potential sites. They were assessed and categorized into different standards. The following table gives different assessment rates:

           

           

Class of land

Area

Rate of assessment

K.       M.       Feet

Rs.       As.       Ps.

Shops Ist Class

16   -   17   -    223      

2            14        0  Per marla

A Class

4   -    12   -     38      

2            0          0       Do

B Class

18   -   4   -      33      

0            12        0       Do

Shops 2nd Class

18   -   4   -      33      

0            12        0       Do

Houses Ist Class,

Shops 3rd Class and godowns

57   -   1   -      164  

0            4          0       Do

Houses 2nd class

65   -   17   -    198      

0            3         0       Do

Houses 3rd Class

195   -  0   -     191     

0            1         0       Do

Factories

93   -   13  -     142     

40          0          0      Per acre

Bungalows

65  -    1   -      9     

12          0          0       Do

Potential building sites Ist Class

50  -   17   -     120      

0            2          0 Per marla

Potential building sites 2nd Class

18   -   4  -       159  

0           1           0       Do

Potential building sites 3rd Class

187   -   6   -    108    

0           0          6       Do

 

The demand fixed and announced is Rs. 2951 on the residential area and Rs. 1350 on the cultivated area, amounting to Rs. 4301.

 

In the tahsil, the unit of measurement at that time of assessment was the karam. In the villages of the Uthar Circle, the karam was 5 ½ feet with a killa measuring 40x36 karam, whereas in other circles the karam was of 5 feet and the killa of 40x40 karam. After the partition (1947), consolidation operations were taken up in this tahsil and a uniform karam was adopted.

 

Working of the Fifth Regular Settlement

 

After a few years of the settlement and particularly on account of the World War II (1939-45), followed by the partition of the country and its independence in 1947 and with the development activities, the prices of agricultural commodities had risen greatly. The charges of land revenue, fixed at the time of the settlement (1936-40) under the conditions then prevailing, had lost their contact with the income arising from the land. The Government expenditure had also vastly increased, particularly since the independence, on account of the expansion of Government establishment and because of the introduction of various development plans. To meet this ever-growing demand, the State Government tapped different sources of revenue. As regards land revenue, in addition to the assessed demand of land revenue of 1936-40, Surcharge, Special Assessment, Special Charge and Additional Charge are being levied in accordance with the Punjab Land Revenue (Surcharge) Act, 1954, the Punjab Land Revenue (Special Assessment) Act, 1958, and the Punjab Land Revenue (Additional Charge) Act, 1960.

 

(ii) Collection of Land Revenue

The revenue collection is the responsibility of the lambardar (village headman). At the time of the First Regular Settlement in 1852-54, the total number of lambardars in the district was 3968, i.e. one for every 63 landowners. All the lambardars, wherever possible, were appointed headmen to compose the claims of rural claimants in the regular settlement. They were different from the local leaders such as tholedar and pattidar, but in the First Regular Settlement, a good number of tholedars, who were representatives chosen by the people in their own councils as distinct from lambardars, ngot themselves recorded as lambardars and so obtained hereditary status and remuneration.

 

The institution of zaildars was introduced in the seventies of the last century to assist the lambardars in the realization of the arrears of land revenue. The ala lambardars, appointed in 1879, had been a failure amongst the democratic people Jats of this district. In 1909, it was decided to do away with this institution gradually. In its place, sufedposhes were appointed.

 

The agencies of zaildari and sufedposhes inams continued to supervise, and assist in, the collection of land revenue till 1948, when these age-old institutions were abolished. These were revived in 1950, but again abolished in 1952.

 

Now only lambardars are responsible for the revenue collection on payment of pachotra, a cess charged at the rate of 5 percent of the land revenue. In case the lambardar is unable to collect the land revenue, he makes a written complaint to the Tahsildar who helps him to effect the recovery.

 

Along with the land revenue, the lambardar als collects abiana and water-advantage rate, for which he is paid 3 percent and 5 percent respectively as collection charges.

 

Lambardars are authorized to remit land revenue by post; but the system is not very popular because majority of them generally find it more convenient and economical to visit the tahsil headquarters personally for depositing the land revenue in tahsil treasury than sending it by money-order.

 

(iii) Organization for purposes of Land Administration

           

For purposes of revenue management, the State is divided into various districts, each in the charge of a Deputy Commissioner, also known as Collector, including his responsibility for the realization of all Government revenues. The district is divided into a number of tahsils, to each of which a Tahsildar and one or two Naib-Tahsildars, according to the work load, are appointed. The position of a Naib-Tahsildar, with reference to the Tahsildar, is that of the former Revenue Assistant or the present Subdivisional Officer vis-à-vis a Deputy Commissioner. Tahsildars and Naib-Tahsildars exercise administrative and revenue judicial functions within their jurisdictions.

 

The unit of revenue administration is an estate which is usually indentical with a village. Of these estaes, large and small, a tahsil, as a rule, contains two to five hundereds. Each of them is separately assessed for land revenue and has a separate record-of-rights and register of fiscal and agricultural statistics, which the Tahsildar maintains. All its properties are jointly responsible for the payment of land revenue, and in their dealings with Government they are represented by one or more headmen or lambardars. These headmen are paid by the communities they represent, by a surcharge of 5 percent on the revenue. Together they form a valuable unofficial channel through which the Deputy Commissioner and the tahsildar convey the orders of the Government to the people and secure compliance. There is also an official chain connecting the village with the tahsil. Estates are grouped into small circles, to each of which a patwari is appointed. Bout 20 of these circles form the charge of a kanungo whose duty is to supervise the work of patwaris.

 

According, the district has been subdivided into tahsils, kanungo circles and patwar circles as follows:

 

 

Tahsils, Kanungo Circles and Patwar Circles in the Amritsar District

 

Tahsil

Revenue estates

Kanungo Circles

Patwar Circles

Naib-Patwar Circles

**Amritsar

389

1. Beas

21

1

 

 

2. Tarsikka

20

1

 

 

3. Jandiala Guru

20        114

-          2

 

 

4. Majitha

21

-

 

 

5. Verka

20

-

 

6. Amritsar

12

-

Tarn Taran

340

7. Tarn Tarn

21

1

 

 

8. Khadur Sahib

22

-

 

 

9. Naushehra Pannuan

22        107

5         7

 

 

10. Atari

21

1

 

11. Lohka

21

-

Ajnala

347

12. Ramdas

20

2

 

 

13. Ajnala

20

-

 

 

14. Raja Sansi

19        95

1         5

 

 

15. Jastarwal

18

1

 

 

16. Lopoke

18

1

Patti

191

17. Bhikhwind

16

1

 

 

18. Patti

16        48

2       4

 

 

19. Valtoha

16

1

Amritsar District

1267

19

364

18

 

(Source : Deputy Commissioner, Amritsatr)

 

The staff employed for revenue work in the different tahsils of the district, as on March 31, 1968, was as under:

 

Tahsil

Number of Tahsildars

Number of Naib-Tahsildars

Number of Office Kanungo

Number of Kanungos

Number of Patwaris

Number of Naib-Patwais

Amritsar

1

5

1

6

114

2

Tarn Taran

1

5

1

5

107

7

Ajnala

1

2

1

5

95

5

Patti

1

2

1

3

48

4

Amritsar District

4

14

4

19

364

18

 

(Source : Deputy Commissioner, Amritsatr)

 

A Collector is the steward of the district and is bound to respect and preserve from encroachment every private right in the land which has been created or confirmed by the State. Where the revenue has been fixed for a term only, he is not only to collect it but also to look forward to a time when it will be revised and, hence he is to record, in a systematic manner, statistical manner, statistical information which will facilitate its equitable reassessment. He must ensure and adopt measures to prevent the loss of crops from causes which are in any degree controllable by man. He must encourage and assist every effort made by a right holder for the development of his estate. In the discharge of his duties, a Collector is assisted by Subdivisional Officers, Tahsildars, Naib-Tahsildars, Kanungo and Patwaris. The post of the Revenue Assistant, first created in 1883, has since been abolished, and his duties have been assigned to the Subdivisional Officers in respect of their Subdivisons.

 

The Tahsildar, an important functinary, is in charge of a tahsil. The duties of a Tahsildar within his tahsil are almost as manifold as those of a Collector within his district. He has to control the patwar and kanungo agency, to collect revenue punctually, to point out promptly to the Collector any failure of crops or seasonal calamity which renders suspension or remission  necessary, and to carry out within his own sphere the other duties connected with land revenue administration. He is a touring officer and his tours afford him ample opportunities to deal, on the spot, with partition cases and other matters connected with the appointment of lambardars, lapse of land revenue assignments, etc.

 

A Tahsildar is assisted by Naib-Tahsildars, of whom in 1968, there were 14 in the district- 5 in Amritsar Tahsil, 5 Tarn Taran, 2 in Ajnala Tahsil, and 2 in Patti Tahsil.

 

The Patwari is an inheritance from the village system of old days. Under section 3 of the Land Revenue Act, 1887, a patwari was a ‘Village Officer’ and was paid from the village officers’ cess, but in 1906 (vide Punjab Government, Department of Revenue and Agricultural/Revenue Notification Nos. 268 and 269, dated November 22, 1906), the liability of the landowners for the payment of patwar staff was abolished.

 

A patwari is appointed for a circle consisting of one or more villages. Besides the proper upkeep of records entrusted to his charge, a patwari is required to report to the Tahsildar any calamity affecting land, crops, cattle or the agricultural classes, and to bring his notice alluvial and diluvial action of rivers, encroachments on Government lands, the death of revenue assignees and pensioners, progress of works made under the Agricultural Loans and similar laws and the emigration or immigration of cultivators. He undertakes surveys and field inspections, aids in other government activities, like the distribution of relief, prepares the dhal bachh papers, showing the demand due from each landowner to the village bachh. When revenue collections are in progress, he must furnish any information that may be required to facilitate  the collections. He himself is not permitted to take any part in the collection of the revenue, except when any lambardar refuses to accept the dhal bachh and np immediate alternative arrangement can be made.

 

The patwari is under the immediate supervision of a circle supervisor known as kanungo, the title of the old Muhammadan functionary having been retained. The kanungo establishment in the district consists of 19 kanungos and 4 office kanungo in tahsils, besides a sadr kanungo and a naib-sadr kanungo at the district headquarters.

 

The office kanungo is the Tahsildar’s revenue clerk. His chief work is the maintenance of the statistical revenue records. He has also the charge of the forms and stationery required by the patwaris, keeps the account of mutation fee, records the rainfall and maintains the register of assignees of land revenue and other miscellaneous revenue registers. He is the custodian of all the records received from the patwaris and a well-ordered kanungo’s office is an important factor in the revenue management of a tahsil.

 

At district headquarters, there is a district or sadr kanungo, assisted by a naib-sadr kanungo. The sadr kanungo is responsible for the efficiency of both the office kanungos and the kanungos and should be in camp inspecting their work for at least 15 days in every month from October to April. He is the keeper of all records received from the kanungos and patwaris and maintains, with the help of his assistant, copies of the prescribed statistical registers for each assessment circle, tahsil and the whole district. The responsibility of Tahsildar and Naib-Tahsildars for the inspection and correctness of the work of the kanungos and the patwaris is, however, not affected by the duties of the sadr kanungo. The kanungos are supervised by the Tahsildar and the Naib-Tahsildar who are to inspect at least 25 per cent of the entries in the record of titles of each estate.

 

(iv) Income from Land Revenue and Special Cesses

 

Land Revenue :- The land revenue fixed in the Fifth Regular Settlement, 1936-40, is realized to this day. It is realized twice a year, i.e. for the kharif, by 15th December, and for rabi by 15th June. The details of income from land revenue and remission, during 1958-59 to 1967-68, are given below:

 

Income from land revenue and remissions, etc. in the Amrits+ar District, 1958-59 to 1967-68

Year ending rabi

Previous year’s balance (Rs)

Demand (Rs)

Total amount for recovery (Rs)

Actual recovery (Rs)

Remiss-ion (Rs)

Suspen-sion (Rs)

Balance (Rs)

1958-59

674570

3139524

3814094

2196328

244067

35884

1337815

1959-60

1373699

3129948

4503647

2804129

64932

163116

1471470

1960-61

1634586

2844503

4479089

2645530

4589

918924

910046

1961-62

1828970

3834643

5663613

2543467

733672

783737

1602737

1962-63

2386350

3129534

5515884

2600416

1448036

332202

1135230

1963-64

1467807

3932097

5399904

3599882

143955

308036

1348031

1964-65

1656067

2683614

4339681

2164203

627233

308036

1240290

1965-66

1548330

2704098

4252428

2088909

632022

732521

798976

1966-67

1531497

2290826

3822323

1378442

582777

337024

1524080

1967-68

1861104

2733261

3594365

2287515

69928

291817

1945105

 

(Source: Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar)

 

            In 1961, the Punjab Land Revenue (thur, sem, chjos and sand) Remission and Supervision Rules, 1961, were enforced under which land revenue of all lands rendered uncultivable on account of thar and sem is remitted.

 

Special Cesses :-The following cesses are levied on the landowners:

 

Village Officers’ Cess

 

Normally, this cess used to include the patwar cess also. In the earlier settlements, a normal rate for the patwar cess was considered to be 6 pies per rupee of land revenue, equivalent to surcharge of 3 1/ 8 percent, an additional ¼ or ½ percent bing taken on account of the patwari’s stationery. Later it was found impossible to meet the expenditure which the new standards of revenue work demanded, with so light a cess, and the rate was increased, 6 ¼ percent being commonly taken. The patwar cess was entirely remitted in 1906, the village officers’ cess being reduced to 5 percent of the land revenue, where the pachotra of the ordinary village headmen had to be provided, and 6 percent where there also chief headmen. The zaildars and sufedposhed were paid from the deduction of 1 percent made from the land revenue collection.

 

At present, only pachotra at the rate of 5 percent of land revenue is charged as the village officers’ cess.

 

Local Rate

 

It has grown from small beginnings. It was usual in early settlements to levy a road cess at 1 percent of the land revenue. Subsequently, education and postal cesses amounting to 1 percent and ½ percent respectively were added. But, by the Punjab Local Rate Act (XX) of 1871, a local rate amounting to 6 ¼ percent of the land revenue was imposed. The local rate was raised by the Punjab Local Rates Act (V) of 1878 from 6 ¼ percent to 8 1/3 percent for giving relief to the famine-stricken people.

 

            With the passage of the Punjab District Boards Act (XX) of 1883, the road, education and postal cesses were merged into the local rate, and the legal limit of the rate was raised to 12 ½ percent of the land revenue and the owners’ rate, and, under this act, the whole of the local rate was credited to the district board.

 

Later on, local rate was reduced to 6 ¼ percent. It was raised to 9 3/8 percent, vide Notification No. 1393-L6-45/9263, dated May 29, 1945, enforced from April 1, 1945. But, before the recovery could be effected, it was further raised to 12 ½ percent vide Notification No. 3497-L6-45/26559, dated October 5, 1945, enforced retrospectively from April 1, 1945.

 

The local rate was further increased to 25 percent of the land revenue, vide Notification No. 4393B & C-48/22423, dated April 26, 1948, enforced from kharif 1947. It was still raised from kharif 1948 to 50 percent of the land revenue which continues to be enforced.

 

The following table shows the amount of localrate collection in the Amritsar District, during the period 1962-63 to 1967-68 :

 

 

Year ending rabi

Local rate collections (Rs)

1962-63

882956

1963-64

1192298

1964-65

896425

1965-66

738455

1966-67

957027

1967-68

1160617

 

(Source: Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar)

 

Surcharge on Lnad Revenue

 

The assessment of land revenue in the Punjab made during the settlements in the different districts in the first quarter of the twentieth century were based on the then prevailing prices of agricultural produce. With the passage of time, the prices greatly increased. On the basis of the increase in prices, there would be a corresponding increase in the net assets of a circle which would, in the ordinary course, have meant an increase in the assessment of land revenue. To meet the ever-increasing expenditure on administration and development, the Government immediately needed more revenue. It was, therefore, decided to levy a surcharge on the existing land revenue.

 

Accordingly, the Punjab Land Revenue  (Surcharge) Act, 1954, was enacted for the levy of a surcharge with effect from the rabi harvest of the agricultural year 1953-54. This Act did not apply to the Amritsar District on the ground that assessment in the district had been made only about a decade and a half back during the Fifth Regular Settlement of the Amritsar District of 1936-40. Subsequently, however, it was noticed that the assessment of the Amritsr Urban and Suburban and the Tarn Taran Urban Assessment Circles of this district had been made as far back as 1911-12. It was, therefore, decided that the provisions of the Punjab Land Revenue (Surcharge) Act, 1954, should also be made applicable to these circles. For this purpose, the Punjab Land Revenue (Surcharge) (Amendment) Act, 1956, was passed. However, with the enforcement of the Fifth Regular Settlement Circles, 1955-56, the surcharge on land revenue ceased to be levied even on the above-mentioned two circles with effect from the rabi of 1958.

 

Special Assessment on the Land Put to Non-agricultural Use

 

Special assessment on the land put to non-agricultural use levied under the Punjab Land Revenue (Special Assessment) Act, 1956. It was, however, stopped from the kharif of 1964.

 

The income from the recovery of special assessment in the Amritsar District, during 1958-59 to 1967-68, is given below:

 

Year

Collection of Special Assessment

Adhoc (Rs.)

Regular (Rs.)

1958-59

17640

-

1959-60

21128

-

1960-61

31139

-

1961-62

12927

-

1962-63

242570

-

1963-64

93648

156698

1964-65

37527

47056

1965-66

12530

20226

1966-67

15986

17161

1967-68

6952

10075

 

(Source: Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar)

Special Charge on Land Revenue

 

In order to meet heavy financial obligations created by various development schemes, it was necessary to augment the State revenues in every possible way and, hence, a special charge on land revenue was levied under the Punjab Land Revenue (Special Charges) Act, 1958, with effect from the rabi  harvest of the agricultural year 1957-58. The rate of special charge is based on the income-tax pattern with different slabs for different categories of landowners. The slab rates are such that the incidence of special charge falls on those who can afford to pay it. Whereas the landholders paying land revenue up to Rs. 50 have been exempted from the provisions of the Act, those paying more than Rs. 1000 have been subjected to 300 percent increase in the land revenue.

 

The income from the special charge on the land revenue in the Amritsar Sistrict, during 1960-61 to 1967-68, is given below:

 

           

Year ending rabi

Collection of the special charge (Rs.)

1960-61

4917

1961-62

58401

1962-63

89353

1963-64

274465

1964-65

156911

1965-66

95585

1966-67

116115

1967-68

214537

 

(Source: Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar)

 

The Punjab Land Revenue  (Surcharge) Act, 1954, and the  Punjab Land Revenue  (Special Charges) Act, 1958,  were repeaded with effect from the kharif harvest of the agriculatural year, 1974-75, by the Punjab Land Revenue  (Amendment) Act, 1974, which instead levied additional land revenue on every land-owner who paid land revenue in excess of twenty rupees, as per rates specified in the schedule appended on page 386.

 

Abina:- Abina is charged on the area irrigated by anals. The income under this head, during 1963-64 to 1967-68, is given below:

 

Year

Collection from abina (Rs.)

1963-64

5589230

1964-65

4025950

1965-66

3942527

1966-67

4228031

1967-68

6721997

 

(Source: Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar)

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