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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/241

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REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE

or two-fifths of the whole, cultivated by tenants at will. The calculation is complicated by the fact that kind rents consisting of a share of the crop are in most places commoner than cash rents and are increasing in favour. The determination of the cash value of the rent where the crop is shared is a very difficult task. There is a large margin for error, but there can be no doubt that the net result has almost always been undervaluation. It is probable that the share of the produce of the fields which the land revenue absorbs rarely exceeds one-seventh and is more often one-tenth or less. A clear proof of the general moderation of Pan jab assessments is furnished by the fact that in the three years ending 1910-n the recorded prices in sales amounted to more than Rs. 125 per rupee of land revenue of the land sold, which may be taken as implying a belief on the part of purchasers that the landlord's rent is not double, but five or six times the land revenue assessment, for a man would hardly pay Rs. 125 unless he expected to get at least six or seven rupees annual profit.

Fluctuating Assessments.— The old native plan of taking a share of the crop, though it offered great opportunity for dishonesty on both sides, had at least the merit of roughly adjusting the demand to the character of the seasons. It was slowly realized that there were parts of the province where the harvests were so precarious that even a very moderate fixed cash assessment was unsuitable. Various systems of fluctuating cash assessment have therefore been introduced, and one-fourth of the total demand is now of this character, the proportion having been greatly increased by the adoption of the fluctuating principle in the new canal colonies.

Suspensions and Remissions.— Where fixity is retained the strain in bad seasons is lessened by a free use of suspensions, and, if the amounts of which the collection