FINANCIAL COMMISSIONER’S STANDING

ORDER NO. 42

Natural Products

Original issue, dated 3rd July 1909

First Reprint, dated 20th March 1922.

A. –General

            1.         Assessment on account of pasture or natural products of land or water.  (i) Where revenue due to Government on account of pasture or other natural products of land, or on account of mills, fisheries or natural products or water, or on account of any rights of Government described in sections 41 and 42 of the Land Revenue Act, has not been included in the current assessment of an estate, the Collector when directed by the Financial Commissioner, from time to time assesses the revenue so due in accordance with the instructions issued to him by that authority in each case.

            (ii)        These instructions may prescribe the term for which the revenue shall be assessed and leased, the persons or class of persons to whom the lease shall be given, the form of the lease, and the procedure to be followed in granting the lease, and may further direct that the assessment be determined by tender or by public auction.

B. –Minerals, etc., in Government land

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            5.         Payment for forest products.  With regard to the conditions under which the Forest Department or a department in charge of Government waste land, may charge another department for articles extracted from State forests or waste land, the Government of India have directed that the Forest Department shall charge other Government departments for all vegetable or animal products extracted from a forest area in the same manner in which it charges the public, and that it shall similarly charge contractors for all mineral products extracted by them, whether on behalf of a Government department or not.  If a Government department extracts mineral products for sale, they also will be charged for.  But the Forest Department will not charge other Government departments for mineral products extracted from forest area by the direct agency of the department concerned, under its own supervision and without the intervention of contractors or middlemen, for its own use, and not for  disposal to the public or other departments.

            The ruling that certain forest products shall not be charged for if directly extracted by other Government departments for their own use, in no way confers upon such departments any right of entry upon, or of working in, the areas under the charge of the Forest Department.  That department retains its full powers of control and subject to the orders of superior authority, will continue to fix and limit the localities where such extraction may take place, and to impose any conditions which it may consider necessary for the safety of its forests and the convenience of its own work.

            The above rulings will apply, mutates mutandis, to every class of forest or waste land at the disposal of Government independently of the agency by which such land may be administered.

C. –Kankar

            6.         Assessment of kankar beds.  Paragraphs 192 and 468 of the Settlement Manual give instructions as to the rights of Government in kankar beds and the assessment of such rights.  Elaborate rules showing rights of Government in kankar (including other minor minerals) have also been published separately, -vide Punjab Government notification No. 4345-R, dated the 23rd December, 1933, as amended from time to time.

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            10.       Procedure in suits for the value of kankar.  In all cases between landlords and tenants for the value of kankar the Revenue Court should adjudicate as between landlords and tenants without regard to the latent claims of Government, leaving the Collector in his executive capacity to take subsequent or independent action if so advised.  Revenue Courts should (a) on the institution of any such suit, send intimation of the fact to the Deputy Commissioner with reference to this Standing Order, and (b) when the case has been decided, submit the file, in original, to the Deputy Commissioner for his orders, in his executive capacity, as to whether any further action is required.

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D. –Sajji and Saltpetre

            12.       Assessment of sajji and saltpetre.  Instructions as to the assessment of profits from saltpetre or sajji are contained in paragraph 193 of the Settlement Manual.

            13.       Licences not required for the manufacture of sajji from plant.  Sajji as manufactured from salsolaceous plants in the Punjab need not be held to be saltpetre as defined in section 3 of the Salt Act, 1882.  It is, therefore, excluded from the meaning of rule 37 under that Act, and in future licences for its manufacture should not be granted under rule 42.

            5.         Chinese Mulberry.  Government sanctioned, in a letter No. 839 of 10th July 1876, the remission of assessment on land planted with the Chinese Mulberry (Morus sinensis) on the same conditions as are applicable to land planted with timber trees.  Collectors of districts where this tree can be grown with success, and where silk culture is carried on, or is practicable, should take every opportunity of making known to the people the orders on the subject and of encouraging applications for such remissions which must be reported for sanction in the Form prescribed in this Standing Order.

            6.         Chos and hill-torrents.  Government has allowed the grant of specially favourable conditions in the way of remission of land revenue to proprietors, who plant groves on or near the banks of Chos or hill-torrents.  The conditions are as follows: -

            (a)        All villages proprietors planting with timber trees (other than fruit trees) on or near the bank of a Cho on a spot approved by the Collector with reference to the object of resisting the encroachment of the Cho or sand-drifts, an area of banjar land not less than one acre, are to be entitled for the term of settlement to a remission of land revenue on their assessed land at a rate per acre planted equal to 1˝ times the incidence of the total village assessment per acre of total area.

            (b)        In the case of cultivated land it will ordinarily be sufficient to grant the remissions at the village rate above mentioned, but discretion has been left with the Financial Commissioner to sanction remission in this case also at 1˝ times the rate mentioned, if desirable.

            (c) The plantations are to be properly kept up, and trees are not to be cut down until they have attained a good size, and in case of a tree dying or being cut down a new one is to be planted in its place.  The plantations are to be regarded as the exclusive property of the village proprietors, and not of Government.

            (d)        These conditions are to be entered in the village administration papers, subject in regard to the planting of shamilat lands, to the consent of the majority of the proprietors.

            7.         Roads and avenues.  Land taken up by local bodies for roads and avenues will be exempt from the payment of land revenue cesses (and malikana if the land made over to the local body is the property of Government).  But land taken up for avenues will not be exempt from the payment of occupiers, rates or other direct charges made by the Irrigation Department.  The exemption will run from the date of acquisition and will continue, in the case of a road, so long as the land is used for a road, and in the case of an avenue, so long as it is properly maintained.

            8.         Appropriation of common land for plantation.  Sanction has also been given to the insertion at the settlement of any district of a clause in the administration paper allowing the appropriation for tree-planting of part of the common land of a village.  The form of the clause and the conditions inserted in it must vary with the requirements of each district.  It might, e.g., give the Lambardar, with the consent of a majority of the khewatdars, a right to plant at any time, trees in, say, one-tenth of waste shamilat, and to prevent grazing after planting till the trees are safe from injury, etc.  Its inclusion in the administration paper would be contingent as a matter of course on the free consent of the village proprietors.

            9.         Power of resumption.  Government had delegated to Commissioners authority to sanction resumption of revenue-free grants made for the purpose of tree planting in cases where the conditions of the grants are not fulfilled by the grantees.