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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/237

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CHAPTER XXIII

ADMINISTRATION — LOCAL

Municipalities.— It is matter for reflection that, while the effect of British administration has been to weaken self-government in villages, half a century of effort has failed to make it a living thing in towns and districts. The machinery exists, but outside a few towns the result is poor. The attempt was made on too large a scale, municipal institutions being bestowed on places which were no more than villages with a bazar. This has been partially corrected of late years. A new official entity, the "notified area," has been invented to suit the requirements of such places. While there were in 1904 139 municipalities and 48 notified areas, in 1911-12 the figures were 107 and 104 respectively. Even in the latter year 32 of the municipalities had incomes not exceeding £1000 (Rs. 15,000). The total income of the 104 towns was Rs. 71,41,000 (£476,000), of which Rs. 44,90,000 (£300,000) were derived from taxation. Nearly 90 p.c. of the taxation was drawn from octroi, a hardy plant which has survived much economic criticism. The expenditure was Rs. 69,09,000 (£461,000), of which Rs. 40,32,000 (£269,000) fall under the head of "Public Health and Convenience." The incidence of taxation was Rs. 2-6 or a little over three shillings a head.