Point out the salient features of the permanent land revenue settlement:
Cornwallis’s at the time of his appointment, was instructed by the Directors to find a satisfactory and permanent solution to the problems of the land revenue system in order to protect the interests of both the Company and the cultivators. It obliged the governor general to make a through enquiry into the usages, tenures and rents prevalent in Bengal. The whole problem occupied Lord Cornwallis for over three years and after a prolonged discussion with his colleagues like sir John Shore and’James Grant he decided to abolish the annual lease system and introduce a decennial. (Ten years settlement) which was subsequently declared to be continuous. The main features of the permanent settlement were as follows:
- The Zamindars of Bengal were recognized as the owners of land as long as they paid the revenue to the East India Company regularity,
- The amount of revenue that the Zamindars had to pay to the company was firmly fixed and would not be raised under any circumstances. In other words the government of the East India Company got 89% leaving the rest to the Zamindars.
- The ryots became tenants since they were considered the tillers of the soil.
- This settlement took away the administrative and judicial functions of the Zamindars.