HC Deb 24 May 1880 vol 252 cc317-8

asked the Secretary of State for India, If he would state to the House the reasons of the Indian Government for raising the amount of cess payable on Zorywari holdings in Malabar from one anna to two annas, as stated in the statement exhibiting the moral and material progress and condition of India?


Sir, the local cess in Malabar was raised from one to two annas per rupee of Government land assessment by Madras Act I of 1878. From the statement of objects and reasons to that Act, and from the discussion in the Madras Legislative Council when it was passed, it appears that owing to the peculiar tenures of land in Malabar the Government land assessment is extremely light, its incidence in proportion to the value of the land being less than half that of the assessment in other districts. Consequently, the proceeds of the local cess, which is proportionate to the land assessment, were quite inadequate to the local wants of the district. The average yearly local expenditure was £57,000, while the local funds yielded only £25,000, and the difference has hitherto been made up by grants from provincial revenue. It was thought unjust that the local wants of the wealthy district of Malabar should thus be supplied from the taxation of other and more heavily burdened districts, the rate of the local cess was consequently doubled, and its amount is now really, though not nominally, equal to that paid by other districts.