Zamindari System (Permanent Settlement) in Bengal
- Introduced in Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and districts of Banaras & Northern districts of Madras by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.
- Declared Zamindars as the owners of the land.
- Hence, they could keep 1/11th of the revenue collected to themselves while the British got a fixed share of 10/11th of the revenue collected.
- Secure of their ownership, many Zamindars stayed in towns (absentee landlord ism) & exploited their tenants.
- Regulation Act of 1793 without using the court could seize movable property in case of default.
- Introduced in Bombay, Madras and Assam by Lord Munro & Charles Read.
- Direct settlement was made between the govt & the ryot (farmer).
- Under this system every registered holder of land is recognised as the proprietor of the land & is held responsible for direct payment of land revenue to the state.
- Revenue was fixed for a period not exceeding 30 years, on the basis of the quality of the soil and the nature of the crop. It was based on the scientific rent theory of Ricardo.
- Position of the cultivator became more secure but the rigid system of revenue collection often forced him into the clutches of the money lender.
(a) It was believed that Ryotwari System was the original system.
(b) Maximization of revenue necessitated negation of intermediaries & direct collection.
(c) With Permanent Settlement there was a loss of revenue in the future.
- It was developed by Holt Mackenzie.
- Modified version of Zamindari settlement introduced in the Ganges valley, NWFR parts of Central India & Punjab.
- It was to be made by village or estate with landlords.
- In Western UR a settlement was made with the village communities, which maintained a form of common ownership known as Bhaichara, or with Mahals, which were groups of villages.
- Revenue was periodically revised.
- Under this system the taluqdars & zamindars were originally appointed by the state.
- But the real owner of villages was zamindars who lived in them or constituted the village community.
- Government officials should record all the rights of cultivators, zamindars & others, & also fix the amounts payable from every piece of land, demand of land revenue village by village or mahal by mahal.
- Collected through village headman or lambardar.
The system broke down because of the excessive state demand & harshness in its working & collection of land revenue.