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yielded lefs than 11 crores 40,000 ficca rupees per annum ; and deducing for Orifla i crore and a half, at which the lands and revenues of tha.t province are ufually eftimated, there will remain nine crores and a half for Bengal and Bahar, to which annex the royalties, and they will more than make good the above deduction for Orifla.
Though I have, in my general eftimate, confined myfelf to the confideration of the known and eftablifhed rents and revenues of the provinces, yet the extra items fpcetfied above no lefs conftitute a part of their value, and though thefe items have for a long courfe of years been concealed and embezzled from the government, that is ao reafon why they may not in future be brought to account by a Britijh Soubah at the head of it, an event which I will ftill hope is not far diftant.
Governor' Holwell concludes his Letter to the Directors, December, 1765*, " with J
ing Hift. Erentf, id edit. Vol. I. p. 220.
a Few anecdotes relative to the lands arid revenues of Bengal.
** The rents of the lands are the property of the Emperor, in confequence of which he has a royal Dewan hi every Soubahdary, but there is always a good underftanding between the Dewan and the Soubah; they never are at a lofs in pretending reafons for the rents falling fhort, though the whole is ftrictly and fully collected: what is diverted from the royal treafuryis divided between the Dewan and the Soubah, of which the latter always takes the lion's fhare.
"Though the amount or the rents on the King's books is near three crores a year, yet the higheft ftipulation made with the Emperor was one crore one lack one thoufand one hundred and one rupees, by the Soubah Soujah Khan, and this was regularly remitted to the royal treafury until the ufurpation of dliverdi. He, on pretence of the diftrefles of the provinces, (to which diftrefled ftate he himfelfhad brought them) made a new ftipulation of
fifty-two lacks per annum, to which he paid no regard longer than the Vizier Monfoor Ali Khans army was within a few days march of Patna, A. D. 1750; nor has the royal treafury benefited a rupee from thefe provinces fince that period.
** The eftablifhed ground rent is three ficca rupees per Bfgab *, about one third of an Englifh acre, throughout the empire; but Aliverdi Khan made the firft innovation in this eftablifhed law, and aflefled the land four annas ficca, or a quarter of a rupee, upon each Begah, on pretence of the Chout paid to the Mahrattas, and raifed the rents of the Rajahs and Zemindars in that proportion; thefe had no other means of reimburfing themfelves but by levying it on the farmers, and they again on the tenants.
"Subfequently, the lands were, on various pretended exigencies, at different periods, aflefled to ten fixteenths of a rupee, though every additional tax on land above
three rupees per annum is contrary to the Jlanding law of the empire, which, until Aliverdi't. time, had been held facred and inviolable.
"In the year 1732, your Governor and Council had in agitation the raijing the rents of your own Zcmindary of Calcutta, which, being rumored abroad, they received a peremptory Perwannah from the Soubah forbidding them, in which the Sou* bah told them that they were prefuming to do a thing which he himfelf had not power to do, and that if they perfifted they would, by the laws of the. empire, forfeit their lands.
"Frauds throughout the empire in letting the lands are manifold: for inftance, the Rajah, and Zemindars, by private compact with the Soubah\ officers, who are charged with the management of this department, obtain more lands than by their Sunnuds (or grants which are commonly called Pottahs) appear, and confequently pay no rent to the King for the furplus land. The fame artifice is practifed between the
Dewans of the Rajahs and Zemindars, and the Izardars or farmers, and the tenants (Reyut) or common Pottah-holders under them, by bribing the officers of the Jummabundy and thofe entrufted with the meafuremenjs of the lands, that they may enjoy the benefit of the furplus land: and I may juftly aver, there is not a tenant in Hindojlan but pofiefles and occupies a greater quantity of land than his Pottah exprefles, confequently it is the tenant (Reyut) that ultimately enjoys the benefit of the furplus land, thus gained by corruption from the Soubah's minifters, while the King fpec'ifically fuffers in his rents. Jt extremely well anfwersthe tenants (Reyuts) purpofe to poflefs, if he can, by a fmall . bribe, more land than he pays for, becaufe himfelf and his heirs enjoy the profit of it for perpetuity; fince, by a fundamental law of the empire, their Pottahs are irrevocable as long as they pay the rent rated in them refpectively;' and fo tender and indulgent are the laws of Hindojlan in this particular, that no tenant forfeits his land before he has failed in his payments twelve