Official Receiver. – There is one Official Receiver at Ludhiana, appointed by Government on the recommendation of the District and Sessions Judge.  He is incharge of the insolvency estates.  When any person applies for insolvency, his property is put under his charge and he disposes it of according to the orders of the Insolvency Court.  He keeps 7 ˝ per cent of the proceeds as his remuneration.  He also acts as Court Auctioneer and gets 4 per cent commission on the auction proceeds.

 

            Oath Commissioners. – There are seven Oath Commissioners in the district, i.e., five at Ludhiana and one each at Jagraon and Samrala.  They charge Re 1 as attestation fee for an affidavit attested by them.

 

            Notary Public. – There is one Notary Public at the district headquarters who is appointed on the recommendation of the Legal Remembrancer, Punjab.  He is authorised to attest all documents, wills, special powers of attorney and copies of all documents on charges approved by Government.  He is also authorised to translated documents on payment approved by Government.  The tenure of his office is for a period of three years which may be extended for another term.

 

            District Attorney. – Formerly designated as Public Prosecutor or Government Punjab, Home Department, on the recommendation of the Legal Remembrance.  He has a small establishment to assist him.  He is not allowed to engage in private practice.

 

            He is assisted by the Assistant District Attorney, Ludhiana, who has also some ministerial and other miscellaneous staff under him.

 

(E)   District Committees : The following committees, most of which meet once a month at the district (headquarters) level, have been constituted to accelerated the disposal of business :-

 

 

                  Committee

 

 

Chairman

Secretary

Standing Committee for General Administration and Officers Board

..

Deputy Commissioner

General Assistant

District Vigilance Committee

..

Do

District Public Relations Officer

District Agriculture and Production Committee

..

Do

District Development and Panchayat Officer

Local Electrification Committee

..

Do

S.D.O. (Electricity)

District Land Improvement Committee

..

Do

Assistant Soil Conservation Officer

Revenue Officers Meeting

..

Do

Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil), Ludhiana

Committee of Sub-Divisional Magistrates, Executive Magistrates, Tahsildars and Assistant Recruiting Officers to review criminal, Judicial and revenue work

..

Do

General Assistant

District Co-ordination Committee

..

Do

Do

District Coordination between the Labour and Industries Department

..

Do

Labour Officer

House Allotment Committee

..

Do

General Assistant

 

               Besides the above, the Deputy Commissioner is empowered to form any number of ad hoc committees to handle local problems like floods, locust, etc.  the District Co-ordination Committee meets once a month and one of the items on its agenda relates to public complaints and grievances.

 

 

 

(F)  Other important offices:

 

            Police. – The Superintendent of Police is the head of the police organisations in the district and ranks only next to the Deputy Commissioner in the maintenance of law and order.  This item has been discussed in detail in Chapter XII.

 

            Judiciary. – On the separation of Judiciary from the executive on October 2, 1964, one Additional District Magistrate now designated as Chief Judicial Magistrate, 6 Judicial magistrates, 18 clerks and 4 Steno-typists, besides other miscellaneous staff, were transferred from the strength of the Deputy Commissioner’s office to the control of the District and Sessions Jugde, Ludhiana.  The item has also been discussed in detailed in chapter XII.

 

Other State and Central Government Officers :

 

State Government Officers

 

1.        Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

2.        Senior District Industries Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

3.        District Education Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

4.        Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana ;

 

5.        Principal, Government College, Ludhiana ;

 

6.        Principal Government College of Women, Ludhiana ;

 

7.        Principal, Hosiery Institute, Ludhiana ;

 

8.        Principal, Government Institute of Textile Chemistry and Knitting Technology, Ludhiana ;

 

9.        Executive Engineer, P.W.D. (B & R), Ludhiana ;

 

10.    Executive Engineer, Public Health Division, Ludhiana ;

 

            11.  Malaria Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

            12.  District Agricultural Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

            13.  Pilot Project Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

            14.  District Public Relations Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

15.          Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Societies, Ludhiana ;

 

16.          District Excise and Taxation Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

17.          District Welfare Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

18.          District Employment Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

19.          District food and supplies Controller, Ludhiana ;

 

20.          District Statistical Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

21.          Regional Deputy director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana ;

 

22.          Superintendent, District jail, Ludhiana ;

 

23.          Conciliation Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

24.          District Commander, Punjab Home Guards, Ludhiana ;

 

25.          Executive Officer, Municipal Committee, Ludhiana ;

 

26.          Agricultural Engineer (Implements), Punjab, Ludhiana ;

 

27.          Superintending Engineer, Drainage Division, Ludhiana ;

 

28.          District and Sessions Judge, Ludhiana ;

 

29.          Factory Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

30.          Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana ;

 

31.          District Animal Husbandry Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

32.          District Town Planner, Ludhiana ;

 

33.          Agricultural Engineer (Boring), Ludhiana ;

 

34.          Project Evaluation Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

35.          Sub-Divisional Officer, (Civil), Ludhiana ;

 

36.          Tahsildar, Sales, Ludhiana ;

 

37.          Superintending Engineer, Punjab State Electricity Board, Ludhiana;

 

38.          Executive Engineer, Division No. 1, Punjab State Electricity Board, Ludhiana ;

 

39.          Executive Engineer, Division No. 2, Punjab State Electricity Board,  Ludhiana ;

 

40.          Executive Engineer, Boaring, Ludhiana ;

 

41.          Treasury Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

42.          District Electoral Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

43.          Tahsildar, Elections, Ludhiana ;

 

44.          Manager, Punjab roadways, Ludhiana ;

 

45.          General Manager, Co-operative Stores and Super Market, Ludhiana ;

 

46.          Executive Engineer, Drainage Division, Ludhiana ;

 

47.          Agricultural Development Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

48.          Superintending Engineer, Sirhind Canal, Ludhiana ;

 

49.          District Attorney, Ludhiana ; and

 

50.          Executive Engineer, Sidhwan Division, Irrigation Branch, Ludhiana.

 

Central Officers (excluding Military Officers)

 

1.            Senior Superintendent, Post Offices, Ludhiana ;

2.            Sub-Divisional Officer, Telephones,  Ludhiana ;

 

3.            Superintendent, Central Excise, Ludhiana ;

 

4.            Income Tax Officer, Ludhiana ;

 

5.            director, Small-Scale Industries, Ludhiana ;

 

6.            Inspector, Railway Mail Service, Ludhiana ;

 

7.            Inspector, Central Intelligence Bureau, Ludhiana ;

 

8.            Station Master, Ludhiana ;

 

9.            Local Foreman, Ludhiana ;

 

10.        Branch Manager, Life Insurance Corporation, Ludhiana ;

 

11.        Sub-Divisional Officer, Telegraphs, Ludhiana ; and

 

12.        District Organiser, Small Savings, Ludhiana.

 

 

 

CHAPTER XI

REVENUE ADMINISTRATION

(a)   Land Revenue Administration

 

v     Land Revenue Assessment and Management

v     Collection of Revenue

v     Income from Land Revenue and Special Cesses

v     Other Sources of Revenue, State and Central

 

 

History of Land Revenue Assessment and Management;

 

       Early Period. – Since times immemorial, it has been customary for a cultivator to pay something to the State.  No authentic information is available of how this land tax was levied in the dim past.  But from the days of Manu, the problem of administration of land revenue was one of determination of the State’s share in the produce of cultivatable land.  Manu’s account of fiscal administration of ancient Hindu States gives a graphic description of land revenue system which formed the main source of income of Government.  Land revenue was levied on the gross produce of all arable land, varying according to the soil and labour required to cultivate it.  In normal times, the share of the State varied between one-twelfth and one-sixth, but was liable to rise even to one-fourth in times of war and other exigencies.  The land revenue was collected, not from individual cultivators but from the community represented by the headman.  The aggregate harvest was collected into a common pool and the State’s share was set apart by the headman before the general distribution.  Between the village headman and the monarch, was a chain of civil officers and landlords were responsible for the collection of the revenue, for which they were remunerated by fees in kind, i.e., by a portion of the King’s share of the produce or by holding land free of revenue by virtue of their office.

 

Medieval Period

 

           Sultanate Period. – In the beginning of the Delhi Sultanate, the State’s share of the gross produce formerly demanded by Hindu Kings, was converted into Kharaj or tribute payable on land, through the share taken was greater than before.  The traditional agency of collection was also utilised. This mode of collection was soon found to be difficult and steps were taken to regulate the collections and secure a complete or partial commutation of the state’s share of the produce into cash.

 

            The land revenue was the most important source of the Sultan’s income.  It was derived from Khalsa or crown lands and iqtas or territories granted to officers either for a number of years or for the lifetime of the grantee.  The bulk of the land revenue was farmed out to military officers and jagirdars who usually collected much more than what they paid to the State.  It was a vicious system for. Besides entailing loss of revenue, it increased the power of the jagirdars to the detriment of the Sultan’s authority.  The rate of assessment of the land revenue was unscientific and arbitrary.  It varied from time to time.  Ala-ud-din made it abnormally high, fixing it at 50 per cent of the gross produce.  Muhammad bin Tuglaq perhaps raised it higher.  His successor, Firuz Tuglaq earned the gratitude of the people by reducing it and by abolishing about twenty-four vexatious taxes.  Summing up, it may be said that the fiscal policy of most of the Sultans ignored the interests of their subjects.  The Sultans discriminated against a particular section and sequeezed them more than they did their coreligionists.

 

       Sher Shah Suri was the first Muslim ruler to lay down sound principles of revenue administration.  After a careful survey of the land, he settled the land revenue direct with the tillers of the soil and fixed the State demand at one-third of the gross produce payable either in money or kind.  He instructed the revenue officers to be lenient at the time of assessment, but to be strict in the matter of collection.  He allowed remission of rent in suitable cases.  To save the tenants from undue harassment, their rights and liabilities were clearly defined.

 

       Mughal Period. – Much of the excellent work of Sher Shah was undone by the disorder and confusion which followed his death.  It was Akbar (A.D. 1556 – 1605) who revived his revenue system and in doing so considerably improved upon the legacy of Sher Shah.  After a few experiments which did not prove satisfactory.  Akbar appinted Todar Mal as his Finance Minister in 1582 and a new era of revenue reforms began.  Hitherto the practice was to fix the assessment every year on the basis of the yield of the soil and current prices.  The State demand thus varied form year to year, causing great inconvenience. To obviate this difficulty, Todar Mal set up a “regulation” or standard system known as the Zabti assessment.  According to it, lands were very accurately surveyed and for this purpose a stiff pole was substituted for the loose rope whose length fluctuated with the change of season.  Lands were classified into four classes : (1)  Polaj or land which was not allowed to remain fallow and was annually cultivated ; (2)  Parauti or land occasionally left fallow to recuperate its productive strength ; (3)  Chachar or land left fallow for three or four years ; and (4) Banjar or land remaining uncultivated for five years and more.  The first two classes were subdivided into three grades according to their fertility and the average produce was calculated from the mean of the three grades.  The demand of the State was fixed at one-third of the average yearly produce.  Only the area actually under cultivation was assessed.  The cash rates varied according to crops and were fixed on the average of ten years’ actual, that is from the past experience of ten years.  The revenue was payable either money or in kind according to differences in situation.  This regulation of Zabti system was ryotwari, that is, the settlement was made with the actual cultivators of the soil ; and it was applied Northern India.

 

       The great merit of the Mughal revenue system lay in its scientific and just assessment.  No farming of revenue was allowed and the fixity of the State demand gave the cultivators a certain amount of security.

 

        Under the Mughal revenue system the rates of land revenue were uniform in the subas or provinces.  No special information is available in the Ain-I-Akbari about the Ludhiana district in particular, as it was made up of several of the 33 mahals of the Sirhind sarkar or division, of which the whole land revenue was set down at Rs. 40,00,000 (16,07,90,540 dams).  Tables are given in the Ain-I-Akbari of the rates collected on every crop during a period of 19 years from a bigah of polaj or cultivated land in each suba.  Wheat paid generally from Re. 1 to 2 a bigah ; gram, etc., from 8 annas to Re. 1 ; ponda sugarcane from Rs. 4-8 to 5 ; other cane from Rs. 2 to 3 ; cotton from Rs. 1-8 to 3 ; pulses and millets (moth, mung, jowar, etc., ) from 4 annas to Re. 1.  It was not to be expected that any more particular information as to the assessments paid by villages or tracts nearly four centuries ago would be forthcoming ; and, as the country was but partially under cultivation, and the present villages did not then exist at all or their limits have much changed since then, it would scarcely be of much use even if available.1

 

 1.    Walker, T. Gordon, Final Report on the Revision of Settlement of the Ludhiana District, 1878-83, paras 183-84.

      

            “It is impossible to say to what extent the system of Akbar was maintained by his successors ; but the administration of the revenue must have suffered in the general disorganization of the government under the later emperors ; and in all parts it came to be a struggle between the collectors and the payers of revenue, the former trying to take as much, and the latter to give as little as they could.  The custom of leasing a large tract of outlying territory to some person of importance, who paid a fixed sum annually, and made his own arrangement for collection (mustajir or zamindar) must have been recognised even in Akbar’s time, for the western mahals of the district were always held by the Rais on these terms. The Phulkian and maler Kotla chiefs, too, were originally lesses and held their territories subject to the payment of what was really an annual tribute.  The mustajir was liable to pay the sum so fixed, but was otherwise independent ; and it was only when he withheld payment that the imperial authorities interfered.2

2.       Ibid.

 

 

             The mustajir, if his circle of villages was small, took a share of the produce from the cultivator, or sometimes cash rents on particular crops ; but generally as he held a large tract, he sublet it in smaller circles to others who dealt direct with the cultivators.  The eastern parts of the district were at first directly managed by the governor of sirhind, because they were within easy reach, and assessment was fixed year by year for each village ; but as the imperial authority weakened, and collections became more difficult, the system of leasing tappas or circles of villages spread.  The principal mustafir or assignee in this district was the Rai of Raikot.  The family began with a few villages, but gradually extended their boundaries, undertaking the revenue management (called katkana) of outlying circles of the villages as the governor of Sirhind lost control of them ; till finally they held more than half of this and a good part of the Ferozepore District.  The Malaudh Sardars, like others of the Phulkian stock, had also a lease, and paid tribute to the emperor, taking a share of the produce from the husbandman.  There were other mustajirs of less note, such as the Garewal Chaudharis of Raipur and Gujarwal, who had a small circle of villages, and paid revenue direct into the imperial treasury.  The ability to realize the revenue has always been the test of power in the country, and, thus, as the imperial authority grew weaker, the mustajirs were less regular in their payments ; while         the village directly assessed would only pay when forced to.3

 

3.    Ibid.

 

As an illustration, the following incident that took place 1740 A.D. may be recounted.  The Rai (Kalaha) was not paying up his revenue regularly, and informed the usba or governor of Sirhind that he could not realize it from the villages.  This was reported at Delhi, and Ali Muhammad Rohila was sent to bring the people to order.  He marched out of Ludhiana towards Jagraon, putting to death lambardars here and there by way of example ; but he soon found that it was the Rai himself who had created the difficulty and incited the people to withhold payments.  Ali Muhammad then turned on the Rai, and, with the assistance of the Phulkians, chased him out of the country. (Ibid)

 

            Sikh Period . – An account of the manner in which the country was partitioned on the disruption of the Mughal empire and the fall of the Sirhind (A.D.1764) has already been given in Chapter II, Hidtory (pages 70-71). The western portions of the district were already in the possession of the Rais and of the Malaudh Sardars, who between them held the greater part of the Ludhiana and jagraon tahsils ; while Samrala and some of the western villages of Ludhiana, which had hitherto been under the direct revenue management of the governor of Sirhind, were seized on in groups by a number of petty Sikh chiefs from across the Satluj.  The only difference that the change made to the Rais and to the Malaudh  Sardars was that they ceased to pay tribute. The petty chiefs from the Manija brought with them their system, if such it may be called of revenue, and when in A.D. 1806-09, Maharara Ranjit Singh extended his territories  to this side of the river .annexing all the country held by the Rais, and absorbing several of the petty chief, this may be said to have been introduced all over the district. Ranjit Singh divided his conquest between himself and the Kapurthala ,Ladwa, Nabha and Jind chiefs in the manner described in Chapter II History(pages 72-75). The greater part was either retained by himself or given to the first of these. The expression system of revenue has been used above, but it may be said of the then rulers, whether in the Punjab proper or in the Malwa, that their system was to exact as much from the cultivator as was possible without making him throw up his land .The chiefs, great and small .tried to get what they could out of the peasantry; and the only restraining influence was the fear of losing the revenue-payers. Land was then plentiful and cultivators scarce, so that there was the danger of a chief driving  away his villagers into the territories of a neighbour who was not quite so bad. In effect the chiefs were landlords who exacted from their tenants the utmost that they could without driving them away. There was a strong feeling on the part of the peasantry that they had right to cultivate the land, and it was only the  most extreme tyranny that would separate them from it but on the other hand the demands of the chief on the produce were limited solely by his own discretion.4.

4. lbid., para 185.

            Maharaja Ranjit Singh leased the territory reserved for himself in circles of villages, the lessees being changed from time to time. Thus the family of the Lahore Vakils5 held the pargana of Schnewal, paying Rs. 1,00,000 per annum for it; and Jamadar Khushal Singh held about 150 villages in different places. These lessees made their own arrangements with the villages year by year generally taking care to leave a margin of about one-fourth as profit on what they paid into the Lahore treasury. For some villages a cash demand was fixed, in others a share of produce was taken or the cash value of Government shared was determined by appraisement. The Kapurthala (Ahluwalia) chief had a large tract of country on this side of river, nearly the whole of the Jagraon tahsil ; and the method of fixing the assessment in his possession may be taken as a sample and appears to have been as follows: The Tahsildar went from village to village every year, and first made an offer to the lambardars of the assessment at a certain sum for that year (this method being known as muskakhasal). This was often accepted; if not, valuation of the Government share of the produce for the year was made by a committee selected from the respectable lambasdars of the neighbourhood. For the Rabi harvest an appraisement (kun) of the value of the yield from each  field was made when crop was ripe; and for the kharif , fixed cash rates were generally applied. The resulting assessment for the year was seldom in full, notwithstanding the free use of the various recognized methods of torture; and large balances were generally allowed to accrue. The lesser Sikh chiefs took a share of the produce in the Rabi, and cash revenue according to certain rates for the Khariff crop. They were really “Zamindars” in the Bengal sense of the world and would assert that the land of the two or three village that they held belonged to them. The rates paid by the cultivators on the zabti crops were as shown below. These rates were fixed for a kachcha bright of ghumaan which varied a good deal through the district, each chief having his own standard. The kachcha bigha has been taken at one-third of the Government standard, as this was about the average.6

 

5. The members of the well known Bhandari family of Batala, notably Rai Kishan Chand, who functioned as Vakil at Ludhiana for a long time.

6.    Ibid., para 186.

 

 

Crops

 

           Rate per acre

 

 

Rs. A

 

Rs. A

Cane

..

14-0

To

20-0

Maize, cotton

..

7-0

To

10-0

Charri, moth, etc.,

..

1-4

To

3-4

Carots and other vegetable, poppy etc.,

..

5-0

To

(Fixed)

 

            The rate at which the chief realised his share of the produce was generally one-third of the grain and one-forth of the chaff. The share the grain was as high as half. The Rais are said to have only taken one-fourth of grain and their rule continued for a long time afterwards to be spoken of with regret. One would have thought that with rates fixed so high ht peasant would have little left for his maintenance; but besides the regular revenue there were the usual dues in cash or kind, paid to the chief or to the harpies who represented him in his dealings with the people. It was possible that the cultivator should  pay out of his produce all that he was supposed to; and his main resource was pilfering from the field or grain heap before division. The saying bataie Lutaie applied with equal effect to both parties. There were about a dozen  dues levied in cash under some pretence or other; and , if added to this that the chief quartered his men and horse on the villagers, and that the latter had to contribute  their labour gratis whenever called upon to do so, it may be imagined that the lot of the husbandman was not ahappy one, and that he could scarcely call his life  own.7

 

7.     Ibid.

 

Modern Period:-

 

            British Settlement of Villages and Lapsed in 1835. – “In 1835 the British acquired, in the manner described in Chapter II, History (page 76.), a small portion of territory around Ludhiana and Bassian.  In all it comprised 74 villages.  These were managed in much the same way as the surrounding territory under the native chiefs for four years.  Then a summary cash assessment was fixed for three years.  Finally in 1842 a settlement was made for twenty years, apparently by the Assistant Political Officers, Captain Mills and Messrs Vansittart and Engeworth.  There is no English report of this settlement, which was probably more or less a regular one on the model of those of the North-Western Provinces ; and from para 71 of Mr. Davidsons’ report (written in 1853)8

 

8.     Report on the Revised Settlement of the District of Ludhiana in the Cis-Sutlej-States, effected by H.Davidson and other offices, under the direction of G.C.Barnes, Commissoner and Superintendent (Lahore, 1859).

 

 

            It appears that none was submitted.   A complete vernacular record with maps was made out ; but this was revised when the rest of the district came under settlement in 1850, and the assessments of 1842 were at the same time reduced where necessary, enhancements being deferred till the expiry of the full term of the original settlement.  Seventy one villages, which had paid Rs. 75,680 in 1842, because these were held revenue-free.  The assessment of 1842, thus differs but slightly from that fixed after revisions.9

 

9.      Ibid., para 187.

 

Summary Assessments, 1847-49. – The rest of the district came under the British after the Satluj campaign of 1845-46, and a summary assessment was fixed by the first Deputy Commissioner, Captain Larkins, who held charge from 1846 to 1849, Sir G. Campbell, who succeeded him, completing such work as remained to be done.  The only guide for the assessing officer was the amount collected form each village by the predecessors of the British ; as this was ascertained, so far as possible, for a period of 5 years from the old papers, statements of leading men, etc.  A very liberal deduction was made from the results arrived at in favour of the people, the amount varying from three to six annas in the rupee.  The jagir villages were excluded from these operations, and the jagirdars were allowed to continue their collections as before till after the annexation of the Punjab in 1849, when decided that a cash demand should be offered to all villages alike. The assessments of the Summary Settlement were accepted readily ; and, considering the date on which they were founded, worked wonderfully.  A few villages became disorganized, probably owing to the change of system,  and reductions had to be made here and there ; but the people welcomed a fixed demand.  The best way of forming an idea of the fairness of the summary assessment as a whole it to observe the extent to which it was necessary a few years after to revise it in the Regular Settlement10.

 

10.    Ibid., para 188.

 

            The following statement shows the final result of the new assessments.11

 

      

 

                Tehsil

 

Assessment

 

 

Summary or Jagirdars’ estimates

 

Regular

Decrease per cent

 

 

Rs.

Rs.

 

Pakhowal

..

288141

255959

11

Jagroan

..

174334

168383

3

Ludhiana

..

246786

242150

2

Samrala

..

236338

259108

20

Total

..

1045599

925600

11

 

 

11.  Ibid.               

 

           Regular Settlement of 1850. –“The Regular Settlement operations commenced in 1850 and the assessments were announced between 1850 and 1853.  They were framed under the regulation of the time and the instructions of the North-Western Provinces Board of Revenue, embodied in the “Direction to Settlement Officers”.  The edition of this publication then in force lays down the rule “that the Government should not demand more than two-thirds of what may be expected to the net produce to the proprietor during the term of Settlement, leaving to the proprietor one-third as his profits and to cover the cost of collection.”

            

          “In paras 40 and 41 of his report, Mr. Davidson has given an account of how his calculations were worked out.  There was a very elaborated classification of soils, each tahsil was considered by parganas (of which there were 19), and the villages of each pargana were divided into three classes according to quality.  In each class of village, the rent for every crop and soil was calculated ; in the case for the kharif cash rents (zabti), which were actually in use for the principal crops and had been taken by the predecessors of the British, giving the necessary data.  For crops on which the rent was ordinarily taken in kind of rate yield as ascertained from experiment and enquiry was assumed, the proprietor’s share calculated at the prevailing rate of rent in kind, and the value of this worked out at the average of the prices current for ten years.  The rental of each worked out at the average of the prices current for ten years.  The rental of each village was the total of the rents of each crop and soil.  For the Kharif harvest the rental calculated was very little it at all.  The rates assumed did not vary much from pargana to pargana, and there were the old Sikh zabti rates to go on besides existing cash rates of rent ; the estimates of yield were much less reliable.  As a rule the irrigated rates were much too low ; and, although the cultivation might have improved, it could not have done so to the extent that a comparison of the papers of the revised with those of the Regular Settlement would indicate.  The rate adopted as proprietor’s share was one-third of the gross produce in the uplands and two-fifths in the Bet ; and of this rental two-thirds was taken as the share of Government, that is, as the revenue rate juma.12

 

12.     Ibid, paras 189-93.

 

          The Commissioner, Mr. Barnes, arbitrarily reduced the assessment in many of the finest villages, and left a legacy of timid assessment13.

13.     Junnett, J.M., Final Report of the Second Revision Settlement, 1908-1911, of the Ludhiana District, p. 5.

 

 

           First Revised Settlement, 1878-188314. – The first revised settlement was begun by Gordon Walker in 1878 and completed in 1883.  This was the first occasion on which a new assessment was introduced at once in all villages of the district.  The demand was a fair one in Samrala tahsil, was lenient in Ludhiana, and was exceedingly unfavourable to Government in Jagraon.  It gave an increase of 18 per cent in Samrala, 19 per cent in Ludhiana, 16 per cent in Jagraon, and 18 per cent throughout the district. The distribution over villages was most carefully done, but Gordon walker laboured under the disadvantage of having no statistics of matured crops, nor did he make any use of crop rates on sown areas.  in consequence, there was a good deal of inequality of incidence on harvested area, the incidence was nowhere severe and the inequalities only showed how much higher the general pitch of the demand might have been.

 

14.      Ibid.  pp. 4-5, 15-17 ;

 

T. Gordon Walker, First Revised Settlement Report of the Ludhiana District, 1878-1883 ;

 

Ludhiana District Gazetter, Pt. A, 1904, pp. 185-211.

 

 

          The demand, when first introduced, amounted to Rs. 11,12,697.  It replaced an assessment which was itself lenient and had worked for thirty years with the utmost success.  Revision of assessment was held to be justified by an immense rise in prices, by a considerable increase in resources, and by the superior wealth and comfort of the people.  In addition, the district was on the eve of the introduction of widespread canal irrigation.

 

          The new assessment was based on produce estimate.  Cash rents were used only to check the revenue rates arrived at from produce calculations.  It is to the almost exclusive use of produce estimates that the assessment owes its very lenient character.  The crop areas were those obtained by observing the harvests of two years (rabi 1879 to kharif 1880), which were not themselves representative.  The September rains of 1879 were only a quarter of the average ; those of 1880 were a complete failure.  The kharif rains of both years were much below average, and there were no winter rains altogether.  The yields assumed (and applied to sown, not to matured areas) were cautions, and led the Government of India to remark that “the average rates of produce are considerably lower than might have been expected from the style of cultivation described in the report.”  The rent kept very close to the arithmetical average of the rents found to prevail (from which abnormal rents were not excluded), and liberal deductions were allowed on account of payments made to menials.  No account was taken of the share of the straw realised by proprietors.

 

In spite of the high proportion of the estimated half net assets which was taken, the demand was very lenient.  An all-round incidence of re. 1-7-5 per acre sown was very light for so fertile and secure a district.  Obviously the great rise in prices did not at all affect the assessment in Jagraon and very little in other tahsils.

 

The leniency of the assessment would have of small consequence if it had been equally marked in all tahsils.  But unfortunately the demand was fair in Samrala, very moderate in Ludhiana, and exceedingly timid in Jagroan.  The inequality was fully appreciated by the people ; and remained the cause of some soreness in Samrala.

 

The inequality became even more marked since the last settlement.  Canal irrigation has been introduced, not into Samrala, but into the most prosperous and most lightly-assessed tracts, being perennial in the wealthiest and least taxed tract of all, namely, the Upper Dhaia of Jagraon.

 

Contents        Next