§ SIR H. COTTON (Nottingham, E.)
I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for India when the water rates were last raised on the Sirhind Canal in the Punjab; what the rates were before the enhancement and what they are now, and especially whether the rate for sugar cane was enhanced by 100 per cent.; and whether the area of sugar cane cultivation has since decreased on the land irrigated by that canal.
§ MR. BUCHANAN
The present rates came into force in 1905. It is difficult to compare them in detail with the rates previously in force, as the schedule is a lengthy one, and the two sets of rates were not framed on the same system, but the general effect was an increase of about 20 per cent. on the yield of the old rates. The old rate for sugar cane was 7 rupees, 8 annas, or 10s. the acre; the present rate is 10 rupees, or 13s. 4d. the acre in one zone, and 12 rupees, or 16s. in the other zone; the percentage of increase being 33 in the one case and 60 in the other. There has been some decrease in the sugar cane area on this canal since 1901–2, but in the Punjab generally the area under this crop has of late years decreased. The cane crop on the Sirhind Canal is relatively small to the total irrigated area.