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POVERTY AND LANDOWNERSHIP: Land ownership determines the fate of people in Pakistan. All poor in the country are landless people either in Rural or Urban area. The large number of poor, demand a study as to how people become owners of land and property.
DURING MUGHAL RULE: Before the arrival of Britishers all land was owned by the King or Ruler and he allowed people to use it at his discretion. No written title deed was ever given. During Mughal rule all land of the Empire was parcelled among 8000 Munsubdars.
The appointed Munsubdars were called Jagirdars and Zamindars. They were given a track of land in consideration of a fixed annual payment and maintenance of agreed number of fighters for use during the wars. The Jagirdar was an appointed official who was transferred from one area to the other, every three four years, so that he may not entrench himself politically in the area.
The Zamindar was usually a local resident considered to have leadership qualities and a following and thus had a permanent presence. However he too could loose his job if the King did not like him any more or he failed to deliver the agreed amount of revenue. The Jagirdars in turn rented the parcels of land to farmers in consideration of 50 percent share in produce.
The Zamindars on the other hand bargained a lump-sum annual payment with the Government and then apportioned it among the Farmers within his jurisdiction. The tax was usually 50 percent share in the output.
DURING CO. RULE: The East India Company (EIC) needed a forecast-able amount of revenue to manage local expenses and project surplus which could be transferred as dividend for the share holders in England.
ZAMINDARI SYSTEM IN BENGAL WITH HIGHER TAXES IN MONEY TERMS: Thus they refused to accept the principle of crop sharing as this was unpredictable. They insisted on a fixed tax in Rupees term.
1. The concept of "Title Deed" which gave ownership rights to the farmers.
2. The concept of Land Registry and a Civil Court to rule on ownership disputes.
3. The concept of Civil Service manned by men known for their education and integrity. These Covenant offices provided a steel frame for the emerging empire.
RYATWARI SYSTEM IN MADRAS AND BOMBAY: As the Co rule spread to Madras and Northern Circars Co decided to eliminate the middleman-Zamindar, as was in practice in Bengal. Ryatwari system was introduced under which each Deputy Commissioner negotiated with 150,000 farmers. The assessment was on a yearly basis based on Supervisor's advice.
JOHN STRAUT MILL---- PHILOSOPHER: WROTE IN 1857 IN INDIAN AFFAIRS REPORT: Four forms of revenue collection were in practices; Zamindari, Village joint rents, Ryatwari and Ulangu.
ZAMINDARI: In the Zamindari system an appointed person uses to collect taxes from the farms within his Jurisdiction and pay it to the Govt. Zamindar negotiated the total rent with the Govt. and apportioned it among his members.
VILLAGE JOINT RENTS: In the village renting system the village stands in the zamindar's position and jointly holds from the Govt. The village is rented to the whole body or a section of them, for terms of years and they make their payment direct to Govt. managing their affairs independently and allotting the lands for cultivation among themselves.
RYATWARI SYSTEM: Under the Ryatwari system every registered holders of land is recognised as its proprietor, and pays direct to Govt. He is at liberty to sublet his property or to transfer it by gift, sale or mortgage. He cannot be ejected by Govt. so long as he pays the fixed assessment and has the option annually of increasing or diminishing his holding or entirely abandoning it. In unfavourable season's remission of assessment are granted for entire or partial loss of produce.
ULANGU: The Ulangu -renting system consists in the Govt. demand being dependent on the current price of grain. One the introduction of the system, a certain grain assessment was fixed on each village, and also a standard rate, according to which the grain demand was to be commuted into money; but it was at the same time arranged that if current price in any year rose more than 10 percent above the standard communication rate or fell more than 5 percent below it the govt. and not the Ryat was to receive the profit or bear the less.
The advantage of the system and that the Government participate with the Ryat in the benefit of high prices which the letter in relieved from less when the prices are much depressed; its disadvantage consists in the difficulty that is experienced in obtaining accurate and fair returns of the current prices which are taken throughout the year.
IMPORTANT AGRICULTURE LEGISLATIONS DURING BRITISH RULE: "Bengal Rent Act" divided the settled cultivators of Bengal into three classes. For these who had held land at the same rents since 1793, the law declared that the rental should remain unaltered for all the time to come. For these who had held lands at the same rents for 20 years, the law presumed that they had paid the same rent since 1793 (rate of permanent settlement by Cornwallis) until the contrary was proved.
And lastly to these cultivators who had held lands for twelve years, the right of occupancy was conceded and their rents could not be raised in future except on specific and reasonable grounds laid down in the law. The permanent settlement fixed the state demand for ever while the rent act fixed the land lords demand and made Bengal prosperous.
1. -The "Oudh Rent Act" of 1868 was passed when the 1st Settlement for 30 years was in progress (complete in 1878) without creating new rights or recognising occupancy tenants and it prohibited the enhancement of rents in respect of their holding except by order of a court of law and equity.
2. -"Land Revenue Act" of 1873 in NWP called for from detail to aggregate assessment system compared to from aggregate to detail assessment earlier.
3. -The "Tenant Act" of 1868 in Punjab, regulated and defined the position of tenants with rights of occupancy, it protected them against enhancement except under peculiar conditions, it recognised their power to alienate tenure; it limited the privilege of the pre-emption and gave the option to the landlord; it defined the improvement which might be made by the tenant and specified the compensation which he might look to receive.
4. In 1871 "Punjab Land Revenue Act" was passed.
5. In 1861, in Central Province "Malguzar" or Revenue Payer's Right was formally recognised which included Sale and Mortgage. Govt. claim on Rental value was fixed at 50 percent. However in reality it went up to 79 percent in the case of Warda and 78 percent in the case of Nagpur, 66 percent in Chindwara, 64 percent in Nimir etc. In most cases the Rental value acceded was more than the actual. The settlement was for 30 years and that was relief.
6. -"Daccan Agriculturist Relief Act" of 1879 was meant to restrain Money Lenders. It provided relief by going back to the actual transaction and pays the actual sum and discharge. It also allowed "Insolvency Act" protection to large debtors. It stopped imprisonment of farmer and let them cultivate the land while they pay off the debt. But the assessment remained excessive and Courts were not allowed to intervene after passage of "Jurisdiction Act of 1876".
7. -"Revenue Code of 1879" clearly affirmed the cultivator's rights of inheritance and transfer but gave no protection against undue enhancement and no security against excessive assessments.
8. The Act of 1879 empowered the Govt. to take away the right of transfer attached to the soil in case of default in the payment of the Revenue. The right of transfer was inherent in Mirasi holding since the Maharatta times. It gave a market value of the holding. It was widely protested in Bombay and Madras.
9. Water Tax Act of 1900 made it compulsory on farmer to use the canal water and pay the tax. Water Tax was added to the Land Tax.
10. The Power of the Revenue Officer and the Settlement Officer has been made more absolute by legislation. The period of Settlement has been cut down from 30 to 20 yrs in Punjab and CP. Cultivators in the same Province had been restrained from alienating their own holdings. The Govt. has taken the power of withdrawing the right of transfer in Bombay.
The Government settles rent between landlords and tenants in CP. The rule of limiting the State demand to half the net rent is in practice, disregarded in Bombay and Madras. The rule of limiting State enhancement to the specific and definite ground of a rise in prices has been withdrawn. And a compulsory Water rate has been imposed in Madras and is consolidated with the land assessment.
1. TENANCY LAWS COMMITTEE, SINDH 1945: Occupancy rights should be granted to haris who had personally cultivated at least 4 acres of land annually for the same Zamindar for 8 years.
2. HARI COMMITTEE, SINDH 1947: Defended the landlords; famous note of Dissent from one member who argued for radical changes in the land tenure system.
3. MUSLIM LEAGUE AGRARIAN COMMITTEE REPORT 1949: Abolition of Jagirs; security of tenure for all tenants; share rents should replace rents-in-kind; ceiling on landholdings of 150 acres irrigated and 450 acres for unirrigated; land distribution to tenants and compensation to landlords (report shelved)
4. PUNJAB TENANCY ACT 1950: No charge by landlords from tenants other than 50 per cent crop share.
5. SINDH TENANCY ACT 1950: Permanent rights of tenancy to long-term tenants; eviction rights to landlords under certain conditions.
6. PUNJAB PROTECTION AND RESTORATION OF TENANCY RIGHTS ACT 1950: Eviction of tenants allowed only under specified conditions.
7. PUNJAB TENANCY (AMENDMENT) ACT 1952: Abolition of occupancy tenancy; transfer of ownership rights to occupancy tenants; share of landlords reduced from 50 per cent to 40 per cent.
8. EXECUTIVE ORDER 1955: Abolition of Jagirs and other revenue-free grants; like other Zamindars, now Jagirdars required paying land revenue. Landlordism remained intact, for not limit to ownership as long as all legal dues paid to the government.
9. CHALLENGE TO THE EXECUTIVE ORDER 1955: Challenge upheld by Sindh High Court.
CEILING ON LANDHOLDINGS: 500 acres irrigated, 1,000 acres unirrigated additional land allowed to bring landholding to equivalent 36,000 PIUs; resumed land to be sold first to tenants and then to small farmers; abolition of Jagirs; occupancy tenants made owners; all tenants, haris and tenants-at-will given legal protection; rents to be paid in kind and all charges other than crop share abolished.
CEILING ON LANDHOLDINGS: 150 acres irrigated, 300 acres unirrigated to equivalent of 12,000 PIUs +2,000 PIUs for tractor and tube well owners; no compensation to landowners, land redistributed without charge to landless tenants cultivating resumed land; untenanted resumed land redistributed without charge to small owners/tenants with holdings below subsistence; share system remains uncharged ; land revenue; water rates, and seed costs borne by landlords and cost of fertilisers and pesticides to be shared equally; tenants eviction decided by revenue courts if tenants failed to pay rent, failed to cultivate land, sublet tenancy, or rendered land unfit for cultivation.
LANDHOLDINGS: 100 acres irrigated, 200 acres unirrigated or 8,000 PIUs equivalent; compensation to landowners on resumed land at Rs 30 per PIU; redistribution as in 1972.

Before British rule under the Maharatta there were two institutions running the country.
1-VILLAGE COMMUNITIES: These contain in ministers all the materials of state within themselves and are almost sufficient to protect their members if all other governments are withdrawn. Elphinstone report dated October 1819.
The Patel or head of the village community, wrote Captain Robertson of Poona "was and still is, a magistrate by the will of the community as well as by the appointment of Govt. he enforces the observance of what is England would be termed the by laws of the corp. he formally raised by contribution a sum of money for the expenses of the corp. as such and far the support of his own dignity as its head; he suggested improvements for the benefit of the association; and Marshaled the member to aid him in maintaining the public peace.
He dispenses and still dispenses civil justice as a patriarch to those who choose to submit to his decision as refers as arbitrator or he presides over the proceeding of others when either he himself or the parties might nominate as arbitrator of their dispute. "ROBERT 1821.
2-MIRASDARS: Cultivation of land by present proprietors was another pillar of Marhatta rule. Elphinstone tells us that large portions of the Ryots are the proprietors of the estate subject to the payment of a "FIXED LAND TAX" to Govt. that their property is hereditary and saleable; and they are never dispossessed while they pay their tax.
First settlement in Bombay for 30 years was in 1836. They apposed permanent settlement in money terms but agreed to it in commodity terms due to increasing price and cost of Admin. The saddest mistake made in Madras and in Bombay was to ignore or to sweep away village communities, polygons jagirdar and other influential bodies belonging to the people instead of enriching them is the cause of good administration.
George Clerk Governor of Bombay in 1853 observed to Select Committee that "where ever the Ryatwari system had been introduced thereby sweeping aside Village Communities and intermediate Landlords, the agriculturist were a nation of paupers". Bombay settlement were based on joint report of 1847; signed by Wingate, Goldsmith and Davidson. It provided 30 years lease, assessment of each fields separately and on the basis of the value of the lands for distribution of assessment.

In 1817 the land revenue was £868,047
1818-19 £1.143, 041
1819-20 £1.078, 164
1820-21 £1.818, 314

Wingate settlement in 1836 and completed in 1872 and showed an increase in the land revenue excluding Poona and a few other places under a revised settlement from £1.534,000 at start of settlement to £2.032,000 or an increase of 32 percent.
-- Karachi revenue prior to settlement (1836) was £19,404 after settlement it increased to 31,670
-- Hyderabad from £63,330 to £77,353
-- Shikarpur from 123,930 to 159,263
SETTLEMENT OF PUNJAB: A Portion of Punjab was annexed in 1846 and remaining in 1849 after 2nd Sikh War. John Lawrence brother of Sir Henry Lawrence was appointed commissioner in 1853 after Henry was removed at the pain of people of Punjab.
In 1847-48 the land revenue was £820,000 within 3 years it went up to £1.660, 000. The fall in prices added to the distress of the cultivation now required to pay in cash instead of 1/2 of produce by Sikh rule.
-- Punjab was given 30 years settlement until 1895 when it was reduced to 20 years.
-- In Punjab (1849) Sardars and leaders were set aside and land was given to small proprietors often tilling their own land and sometime having tenants under them. Lord Lawrence passed an Act in 1868 to protect these tenants it was followed by another Tenancy Act in 1887.
-- Small land lords held 54 percent of land in Punjab in 1891 and 45 percent in 1900. Apprehensions were entertained that the land was passing away from the old families as well as from the sturdy tiller. A Descant of Jagirs Act was passed to promote the principles of prim genitures among the old families and Land Alienation Act was passed to save the old tribes from a landless existence.
-- 1856-57 Demand £1.485, 000 Collections 1.452,000
-- 1857-58 £1.465, 000 1.452,000.
-- Land Revenue Act of 1871 demanded 1/2 of the actual rents paid by ordinary tenants within average years.
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF PUNJAB AS PER BRITISH PARLIAMENT REPORT: "In the Punjab one and the same man is usually absolute proprietor and generally the sole cultivator though he may occasionally lease out a few fields to tenants. He is saddled with no rent. He has to provide for the cost of cultivation and for the Govt. demand; the rest of the produce he may devote to the maintenance of his family and the accumulation of his capital.
But these men well maintaining their individuality do yet belong to village communities. A village is not inhabited by a certain numbers of Ryat each unconnected with the other but by a number of persons of common descent farming on a large cousin hood having their own head man accustomed to joint action and mutual support.
The British Government has from the first decided on laying the tax by money payment assessed for a number years. The peasant proprietor compound with the state for a fixed period, such assessment and compounding being technically called as settlement. But the proprietors do not engage individually with the Govt. but by villages.
The brotherhood though its headman or representatives, undertakes to pay as much far so many years, and then having done this they divide the amount among themselves, assigning to each man his quota. Primarily each man cultivates and pays for himself, but ultimately he is responsible for his coparceners, and they for him, and they are bound together by a joint liability. The Punjab system therefore is not Ryatwari or Zamindari but the "village system".
In the hills and occasionally and near Multan something approaching the Ryatwari system may be found. But the village system is the prevalent one, especially in the most important districts."
CANAL COLONIES IN THE PUNJAB: The process of agriculture colonisation commenced in the western Punjab from 1885, and it was to continue into the final year of British rule. The nine canal colonies developed in this period were situated in the interfluves west of the Beas-Sutlaj and east of the Jhelum rivers. These tracts-the Bari, Rechna, and Sutlej doabs, lay between the Bease-Sutlej and Ravi rivers, the Ravi and Chanab rivers, and the Chanab and Jhelum rivers, respectively.
The colonisation projects were based on the construction of a network of canals that took off from the rivers, with branches and distributaries spread over the flat, alluvial plains of the western Punjab. The canals were laid out primarily on uncultivated land, which was but sparsely inhabited by a semi-nomadic population of cattle grazers and camel owners. This made possible the migration into this area of people from other parts of the Punjab.
It was this element of colonisation, born out of the inadequate demographic resources of the doabs that distinguished canal construction in the western Punjab from that further east. In other parts of northern India, such as the United Provinces, the canals constructed during British rule brought irrigation to already settled tracts. They supplemented existing agricultural systems based on barani (rain fed) cultivation, and did not therefore require any in-migration.
In the western Punjab, owing to the insufficiency of rainfall, agriculture was far more dependent on irrigation, and traditional irrigation systems relied on wells and seasonal inundation, traditionally allowing cultivation only in tracts contiguous to rivers. The extensive interfluves, left elevated through river action, remained unirrigated.
The irrigation network that emerged after 1885 was based on perennial canals that led off from river-spanning weirs and headworks. This rendered cultivable the upland plains that had hitherto remained inaccessible to the smaller-scale and technologically less sophisticated traditional irrigation methods.
The combination of migratory colonisation with the great dependence of cultivation on canal water supplied by a centralised authority created in this region a truly "Hydraulic" society, such as could only exist in a diluted from further east because of the preponderate influence of barani agriculture.
Between 1885 and the end of British rule in 1947, the canal-irrigated area in the Punjab, excluding the princely states, increased from under3,000,000 to around 14,000,000 acres. The great bulk of this increase took place in the canal colonies, which experienced thereby the greatest expansion in agricultural production in any part of South Asia under the British.
The vast landed resources thus created in the canal colonies had a profound impact on economy and society in the Punjab. From the significant economic growth that ensued, the Punjab obtained its most promising prospects of economic development in recent history. The extent to which agricultural growth allowed the preconditions for successful development to emerge was greatly influenced by the nature of land utilisation in the canal colonies.
"Colonisation" or the motives and methods involved in the settlement of these new lands, determined the character of the emergent society and the degree to which that society was capable of structural transformation from its existing state of economic backwardness. The colonisation process was moulded by two forces: the state and the social structure. The former was important because it controlled land distribution: the canal colonies were situated in tracts designated as crown waste lands.
This transferred ownership of these areas to the state, and allowed it to dispose of the land according to its discretion. Since the state also controlled the canal system and the water source, agriculture itself became dependent on the will of the ruling authority. The ownership of both land and water gave the central power virtual control over the means of production, thus greatly enhancing its authority over society.
The role of the state was made manifest in the colonisation policy that provided the framework for land distribution in the canal colonies. State policy determined matters both great and small, ranging from the formulation of the general principles governing land distribution to the implementation of measures in the minute circumstances of the local arena. Here was interventionist imperialism, extensively engaged in demographic and economic change.
The end product of state policy was the structure of landholding that emerged in the canal colonies. Colonisation had a major impact on people and society in the Punjab. Since the manpower for agrarian growth came almost entirely from within the province. Existing stratifications and hierarchies in the Punjabi population were bound to be projected onto the new sphere. In rural society there existed extremes of wealth between large landowners on the one hand and poor cultivators and landless labourers on the other.
Between these were intermediate layers of richer peasants and medium-sized landlords and, in addition, the urban-based strata of the bourgeoisie and working class. Only the last, constricted in size and pre-industrial in nature, was unimportant to colonisation until colony towns came into their own.
Class divisions were not the only focus of socio-economic distances: the caste system pervaded human consciousness and divided society into groups of superior and inferior status. The "superior" caste was also economically and politically dominant, for they followed elite occupations, and the means of production were concentrated in their hands. Because of their entrenched power, such groups were advantageously placed to exploit new agricultural and commercial opportunities.
The extent to which existing inequalities in society led to an unequal sharing of resources is central to a discussion of the importance of the canal colonies to the Punjab. When Canals were laid out providing water all year along and watering erstwhile deserts opening millions of acres of new agriculture land the Britishers used the new resource for Colonial objectives.
To recupe the cost they auctioned bulk of the land to existing land owners with capital and distributed the remaining to their favourites. The favourites comprised retired Army men, Informers and Recruiters. Once the need for local horses and donkeys was felt large tracks of land was reserved for this purpose; no land was given to the poor landless people as the intention was to keep them poor so that they continue to provide labour for the farms.
This policy led to accumulation of large land holdings in few hands while majority of the people remained poor. The new tracks of land helped the Britishers raise a large army which was used all over the world and reduced opposition to their rule to such a extend that in the 1937 election the Unionist Party won the election. Contrary to the trend all over India were Nationalist Congress Party was popular it had no support in Punjab.
Earlier during 1857 up rising Punjab supported the Britishers and thus help them win. This was due to general favourable treatment of Punjab particularly Muslim Punjab by the Britishers compared to Sikh rulers. When Sukkur barrage was built in Sindh which provided 7million acres of irrigated land, the Britishers distributed these lands in similar fashion, as in Punjab. Thus creating a wedge in society in which there were large landowners on one side and a huge population of landless people.
NET IMPACT OF LAND REFORMS AFTER PAKISTAN: As any one can see from the history of land reforms in Pakistan listed above, up to 1959, the Landlords were able to block attempts to change the status quo.
DISTRIBUTION OF LAND OWNERSHIP IN PAKISTAN AND PROVINCES, 1950-55: During this period 1.2 percent of owners owning 100 acres and above land owned 31.2 percent of all land in Pakistan. While those owning between 25-100 acres constituted 5.7 percent of land owners and they owned 21.8 percent of all land.
Those owning between 5-25 acres constituted 28.7 percent of land owners and owned 31.7 percent of all land. Small farmers owning 5 or less on the other hand comprised 64.4 percent of land owners but owned only 15.3 percent of all land. The two major provinces Punjab and Sindh accounted for 38.5 million acres (or 79 percent) of land out of total 48.6 million acres for the country.
In Punjab 0.7 percent owners having land above 100 acres owned 23.5 percent of all land in the province. While in Sindh 8 percent owned 54.4 percent of all land. Those owning between 25-100, constituted 4.1 percent and 16.2 percent but owned 21.9-23.2 percent, respectively.
The 1959 reform was the first big blow on paper. However, with the help of PIU provision and other loopholes the net impact was not much. Approximately 6,000 owners owned more than the ceiling of 500 acres permitted in 1959. They constituted 0.1 per cent of the owners, but owned 7.5 million acres or 15.4 percent of the total land. Table shows that in all there were only 5,064 declarants, of which only 15 per cent or 763 were affected by the ceiling on individual holdings.
The area of land owned by the affected declarants was 5.5 million acres, of which only 1.9 million (35 percent) was resumed. The main portion of their land was retained by the landlords due to numerous provisions made in the law, such as for the transfer of land to dependants and other members of their families, and exemption for numerous categories.
PUNJAB: Number of declarants 2,152, unaffected 1,844, affected 308, Area of affected declarants (acres) 3,637,648, Area retained (acres) 2,306,657, Area gifted (acres) 288,715, Area resumed (acres) 1,044,276.
MULTAN: Number of delarants 838, unaffected 720, affected 118, Area of affected declarants (acres) 2,838,325, Area retained (acres) 1,934,664, Area gifted (acres) 225,411, Area resumed (acres) 672,250.
SARGODHA: Number of declarants 606, unaffected 504, affected 102, Area of affected declarants (acres) 412,213, Area retained (acres) 165,033, Area gifted (acres) 28,701, Area resumed (acres) 218,479.
LAHORE: Number of declarants 102, unaffected 85, affected 17, Area of affected declarants (acres) 38,813, Area retained (acres) 25,631, Area gifted (acres) 4,008, Area resumed (acres) 9,176.
RAWALPINDI: Number of declarants 249, unaffected 227, affected 22, Area of affected declarants (acres) 148,827, Area retained (acres) 53,019, Area gifted (acres) 9,947, Area resumed (acres) 85,861.
BAHAWALPUR: Number of declarants 357, unaffected 308, affected 49, Area of affected delarants (acres) 199,470, Area retained (acres) 128,310, Area gifted (acres) 12,650, Area resumed (acres) 58,510.
SINDH: Number of declarants 2,388, unaffected 1,993, affected 395, Area of affected declarants (acres) 1,487,253, Area retained (acres) 655,384, Area gifted (acres) 169,803, Area resumed (acres) 662,066.
KHAIRPUR: Number of declarants 1,006, unaffected 870, affected 136, Area of affected declarants (acres) 637,029, Area retained (acres) 368,154, Area gifted (acres) 67,903, Area resumed (acres) 200,972.
HYDERABAD: Number of declarants 1,375, unaffected 1,117, affected 258, Area of affected declarants (acres) 842,872, Area retained (acres) 281,220, Area gifted (acres) 101,900, Area resumed (acres) 459,752.
KARACHI: Number of declarants 7, unaffected 6, affected 1, Area of affected declarants (acres) 7,352, Area retained (acres) 6,010, Area gifted (acres) _, Area resumed (acres) 1,342.
PUNJAB AND SINDH: Number of declarants 4,540, unaffected 3,837, affected 703, Area affected declarants (acres) 5,124,901, Area retained (acres) 2,962,041, Area gifted (acres) 456,518, Area resumed (acres) 1,706,342.
PAKISTAN: Number of declarants 5,064, unaffected 4,301, affected 763, Area of affected declarants (acres) 5,478,945, Area retained (acres) 3,077,738, Area gifted (acres) 497,419, Area resumed (acres) 1,903,788.
THE BHUTTO REFORMS OF 1972: The 1972 reforms were different from those of 1959 in many respects. Unlike in 1959, land resume from landlords did not received in ant compensation and this land was to be free to landless tenants.
In addition all those peasants who had acquired land under 1959 reforms and had dues outstanding, had their dues return off and were not required making any further payments. Of the land declared to be above the ceiling by the landowners, after they had made generous use of the possibilities for getting.
Around the imposition, only 42 per cent was resumed in the Punjab, while the figure in the Sindh was 59 per cent, all, 0.6 million acres were resumed, far less than the 1959 figure and constituting only 0.001 per cent of the total farm area in the country. The problem of the evaluation of the produce Index Units arose once again. The ceiling of the land was defined both in area once PIUs, and the landowner could retain the larger. However, Mahmood Hasssan Khan writes that.
"The most serious problem of defining the ceiling in IPUs was that their values had remained unchanged, while almost everything affecting their value had changed drastically in most areas of the Indus Basin. The produce value of an area of land was being grossly underestimated in the Indus Basin, thanks to change in prices, cropping intensities and patterns, irrigation, etc."
The result was that with 12,000 PIUs one could get away with 400 acres in the Punjab and 480 in Sindh. Moreover, with other exemptions for tube wells and tractors, a family could have retained up to 1,120 in Sindh.
Although a lot of propaganda was issued about the success of the 1972 reforms, as the resumed land was far less than in 1959, only 50,548 persons benefited from the redistribution of 308,390 acres during 1972-8. Only 1 per cent of the landless tenants and small owners benefited by these measures. Table shows that, of the land resumed in 1959, 6 per cent still needs to be distributed even after 38 years, and 39 per cent of the area resumed under the 1972 reforms is still held by the government despite the presence of e large number of landless cultivators.
PROGRESS OF IMPLEMENTATION OF LAND REFORMS UP TO JUNE 1994(HECTARES): The issue of land redistribution is in abeyance since than other then talk of distribution of 2.7 million Government land.
LAND REFORMS IN INDIA AND BANGLADESH: Before the end of British rule Zamindari system was abolished in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. Congress Party's manifesto in 1937 promised to abolish Zamindari, Jagirdari and Nawabships and States after independence and this was done.
With the creation of Pakistan therefore Pakistan (West) remained the only area of the subcontinent to retain elements of medieval Feudal, Sardari and Jagirdari system. Therefore there is a view that the Landlords, Sardars and Jagirdars of West Pakistan supported the creation of Pakistan to avoid the fate of their counter parts in India.
ONE OF THE CAUSES OF BREAKUP OF PAKISTAN: East Pakistan (Bengladesh) had no significant large landlords and the society was fairly flattened, in contrasted to very large holdings in West Pakistan. The vast difference in land owning pattern led to vast cultural differences. This also led to throwing up very different types of leadership.
While East Pakistan was represented by middle class; the leadership of West Pakistan comprised of very large Landlords, Sardars and Jagirdars. Interaction and accommodation between the two set of people proved very difficult and contributed to the dismemberment of the country.
LAND REFORM PROSPECT IN PAKISTAN: In 2002 Prime Minister Jamali of Muslim League declared that the issue of land reforms was over in Pakistan and that the current holdings were optimum for productivity. Other than 2.7 million Government land distribution which comes in to discussion from time to time there is no talk of land reform in Pakistan since 2002. Even distribution of Government land is delayed on one pretext or the other while the millions of poor landless people keep pleading.
OPTIMUM ECONOMIC LAND HOLDING: Given the large number of available landless peasants in the Country, who also constitute the bulk of poor in the Country, the question of how much each family should own becomes pertinent. If land could be provided to these landless peasants they would come out of the poverty trap and contribute in a major way reduction in Poverty level in the Country.
The question arises as to what constitutes an optimum land holding, so the total production is not effected and at the same time social justice is provided. Is the current applicable ceiling of 200 acres alright and there is no need to change it given the natural redistribution of land with the passing of land from one generation to another?
Some Economist urge that while Pakistanis have a Feudal mind set which is opposite of democratic mind set, its economy is no more Feudal rather it is Capitalist. Land holdings have become smaller with the passage of time as each large holding of the past got divided and sub divided among heirs, as per Islamic Law. Some Economist even worries that too small holdings might become economically unviable and retard over all production.
On the other hand some Economist believe that Feudal large land holding still exist and is the source of all Economic, Political and Social injustices in Pakistan and land reform is an urgent need. World Bank officials in a recent report (March 2007) have termed unfair land and water distribution as major cause of poverty in the Country.
They urge that to create a just society it is imperative that landless peasants are given land on an urgent basis. This, they believe will not only alleviate rural poverty but also increase the production of these lands. While I have no doubt that morally and socially it is imperative that land less peasants of the Country be given land and this can only happen by repossessing large tracks of land from large land owners, I have concern over the productivity issue. Will these small holding be economically viable or not?
A LAND PLAN FOR PAKISTAN ON 20- 80 BASIS: In my opinion for Pakistan the optimum level of land ownership per family is 20 acres. A family comprising husband wife and three children can not till more than this. While the holding is large enough to provide surplus for sale in the market. The size is such that family can afford a tube well if needed and also own a tractor which may be shared with neighbours at a price.
The land may be allocated on the basis of NICs and B forms. The allot tees to sign an undertaking that they will till the land and in case they leave for towns the land will be taken back.
This is practice in China now where the lease is granted for 30 years on this condition of domicile. 20 acres per family given at a 30 years lease with all government taxes to be agreed before hand and not subject to change as was done in 1793 Permanent Settlement for Bengal provides the best set up for optimum production, social justice and political stability.
This will alleviate poverty in Rural Areas in a major way. In Urban Areas also based on NIC and B form each land less family may be provided an 80 sq. yard land, at small upfront payment and remaining payment over 20-30 years in quarterly installment. Almost all families will be able to afford such land and then gradually build their houses, value of which will rise with passage of time.
This will alleviate poverty in Urban Areas, as the rent eats up a large chunk of poor family's income and it does not give them ownership of property and thus they never come out of poverty trap.

LAHORE (1850-51)
Lahore £38,000 40,614
Amritsar 86,872 102,473
Dinanagar 89,927 94,043
Wazirabad 108,338 114,018
Sheikhpura 31,916 38,322
Gujarat 59,382 59,859
Jhelum 69,548 72,091
Rawalpindi 82,481 82,056
Shahpur 41,231 34,381
Liea 48,444 54,357
Khangarh 49,534 48,463
Dera Ghazi Khan 45,574 47,280
DeraIsmailKhan 48,968 50,656
Multan 56,430 60,359
Jhung 27,878 34,962
Pakpattan 25,757 38,312
Peshawar 84,307 71,929
Hazara 18,854 16,815
Total £1.018, 502 £1.060, 989
Name Period Situated in Cost (Rs 000)
Sidhnai 1886-1888 Multan 1,301
Sohag Para 1886-1888 Sahiwal 1,803
Chunian 1896-1906 Lahore Extention of Upper Bari
Doab Canal
Chenab 1892-1930 Guranwala, Jhang, Lahore etc 53,072
Jhelum 1902-1906 Shahpur, Jhung 43,613
Lower Bari
Doab 1914-1924 Sahiwal, Multan 25,086
Upper Chenab 1915-1919 Gujranwala, Sailkot 43,596
Upper Jhelum 1916-1921 Gujrat 49,770
Nili Bar 1926 Sahiwal, Multan 83,787
Province Area Area Balance Persons
Resumed disposed of benefiting
1959 reforms:
Punjab 511,244 505,082 6,162 109,889
Sindh 346,307 300,091 46,216 46,131
NWFP 112,108 97,287 14,821 24,314
Balochistan 53,268 53,196 72 6,621
Total 1,022,927 955,656 67,271 186,555
1972 reforms:
Punjab 121,593 94,583 27,010 36,017
Sindh 112,920 72,477 40,442 17.167
NWFP 57,415 55,122 2,293 12,811
Balochistan 189,316 73,755 115,562 5,506
Total 481,244 295,937 185,307 71,501

Copyright Business Recorder, 2008


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