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What were the problems created by permanent settlement?

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India is an agriculture-based country. The vast majority of individuals in India rely upon agribusiness for their work. A land charge is the fundamental wellspring of income for the lords for ages. In history likewise, numerous brutal rulers took advantage of the average people by forcing deceptive expenses.

What is Permanent Settlement?

Before the Britishers started ruling India, shifting cultivation was widely practiced across the country i.e. people used to cultivate in land and harvest the crop, and when the land becomes infertile, they shift from that location to another and this process continued. But this changed with the introduction of Britishers in administration. Earlier these cultivators never paid revenue for the land they cultivated. Hence the Britishers introduced Permanent settlements to collect revenue from the land.

Permanent Settlement of Bengal was an understanding between the East India Company and Bengali property managers to fix incomes to be raised from land that had extensive ramifications for both agrarian techniques and efficiency in the whole British Empire and the political real factors of the Indian open country.

History of Permanent Settlement

In 1765, the East India Company took control over Bengal, Bihar, and some districts of Karnataka by acquiring Diwani. It decided to manage land revenue directly but though the expected revenue increased from the last year yet didn’t match their expectation. They wanted to increase it for better profits. They wanted more revenue. So permanent settlement was introduced in Bengal and Bihar in 1793 by Lord Cornwallis. The framework in the end spread all over northern India by a progression of guidelines dated 1 May 1793. These guidelines stayed set up until the Charter Act of 1833.

Background to Permanent Settlement

Earlier in Bengal, Odisha, and Bihar, land revenue was collected by zamindars. A Diwan was appointed to look after the zamindars and monitor them so that he wouldn’t collect tax illegally. But after the Battle of Buxar1762, the right to collect revenue was handed over to the British East India Company, which was unaware of the local norms. Due to this, the local zamindars started to violate laws and increased revenue, farmers were forced to sell their produce at low cost, and peasants were burdened with heavy taxes. All these collectively led to the Bengal famine which killed nearly 10 million people.

The Bengal famine was an eye more open for the British East India Company and several reforms were made to improve agriculture in India permanent settling was another reform introduced by Lord Cornwallis in 1793.

Key features of Permanent settlement act 1793

Zamindars, who were tax collectors and earlier now became landlords and they had the right to sell the property. The land revenue to be collected was by the British East India Company. It was fixed that 10/11th of the collected revenue has to be submitted to the company and 1/11th was retained by the zamindars. A land deed was given to the taxpayer stating the area of land possessed and the amount of revenue to be paid. It was the duty of zamindars to collect revenue and handover to the company and if they failed, the company had the right to acquire the property of the zamindars.

Problems created due to permanent settlement

  • The Permanent Settlement achieved an unfriendly impact on the Zamindars. A large number of them couldn’t understand or gather the land income from the occupants and subsequently couldn’t pay the cash to the public authority in time thus their properties were sold.
  • Permanent Settlement antagonistically impacted the pay of the organization as the income was fixed very on the low side because of the absence of legitimate estimation.
  • It hurt the public sensation of individuals since this framework made an exceptional class of zamindars in the country who turned into genuine fans of the English.
  • It was an incredible error concerning Cornwallis that he denied most of the cultivators the right of responsibility and made the property managers proprietors of the land.

Related Links

  1. Main Features of Permanent Settlement
  2. Settlements of Land during British Rule
  3. Land Revenue Systems in British India
  4. The Company Becomes the Diwan

FAQs on Problems Created by Permanent Settlement

Q1. What was the impact of permanent settlement on peasants?


  • Permanent settlement was very oppressive to peasants.
  • Cultivators started hating zamindars.
  • Cultivators were tortured by zamindars if they failed to pay the fixed sum.
  • Peasants started to rely on loans and debt increased.

Q2. What was the impact of permanent settlement on the company?


  • Regular income was assured to the company.
  • Company was always in profit. Even though the peasants failed to pay revenue, the company acquired the land of zamindars.
  • No additional profits to the company as the revenue to be collected was fixed.

Q3. What was the impact of permanent settlement on Zamindars?


  • The Permanent Settlement achieved an unfriendly impact on the Zamindars. A large number of them couldn’t understand or gather the land income from the occupants and subsequently couldn’t pay the cash to the public authority in time thus their properties were sold.

Q4. Write the merits of Permanent settlement.


  • At that time Britishers could not reach the peasants directly to collect revenue as some areas were still inaccessible to the Britishers without any communication means. It was beneficial for the company to appoint zamindars, who performed all these tasks without involving the company.
  • Zamindars served as loyal servants to the Company as they were provided hereditary property laws. In this way, they felt attached to their zamindars and served better to the Britishers.

Q5. Write the demerits of Permanent settlement.


  • Numerous zamindars rebuffed and tormented the average people for not saving income on time. They didn’t feel that the ranchers were weakened to pay the weighty measure of assessments forced on them. Now and again, they likewise caused uncouth remorselessness for the ranchers to coerce their cash.
  • The public authority took a significant piece of the income of the ranchers as income and made no strides for their government assistance or improvement.
Last Updated : 09 May, 2023
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