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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/240

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Forests, if p.c). The balance consists of Excise 8| p.c, Stamps, 7 p.c, Income Tax over 2 p.c, and other heads 5f p.c.

Land Revenue.— Certain items are included under the Land Revenue head which are no part of the assessment of the land. The real land revenue of the Pan jab is about £2,000,000 and falls roughly at the rate of eighteen pence per cultivated acre (Table II). It is not a land tax, but an extremely moderate quit rent. In India the ruler has always taken a share of the produce of the land from the persons in whom he recognised a permanent right to occupy it or arrange for its tillage. The title of the Raja to his share and the right of the occupier to hold the land he tilled and pass it on to his children both formed part of the customary law of the country. Under Indian rule the Raja's share was often collected in kind, and the proportion of the crop taken left the tiller of the soil little or nothing beyond what was needed for the bare support of himself and his family. What the British Government did was to commute the share in kind into a cash demand and gradually to limit its amount to a reasonable figure. The need of moderation was not learned without painful experience, but the Panjab was fortunate in this that, except as regards the Delhi territory, the lesson had been learned and a reasonable system evolved in the United Provinces before the officers it sent to the Panjab began the regular assessments of the districts of the new province. A land revenue settlement is usually made for a term of 20 or 30 years. Since i860 the limit of the government demand has been fixed at one-half of the rental, but this figure is very rarely approached in practice. Between a quarter and a third would be nearer the mark. A large part of the land is tilled by the owners, and the rent of the whole has to be calculated from the data for the part, often not more than a third