§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
asked what proportion of their income received from land the landlords or zemindars in India require to pay to the State as revenue or tax; whether there are, in addition, any local rates or cesses payable by them, and what these amount to; and whether the percentage of the harvest yield which the peasants pay as revenue or tax, as recently quoted by him, is based upon the presumptive or actual crop?
§ Mr. REES
asked whether the British Government, in settling the proportion of income demanded by the State from landlords or zemindars, takes into consideration the fact that the revenue so received is collected from the classes and spent upon the masses; and whether, when demanding a comparatively large share of the assets of the landlords as revenue for public purposes, the British Government has concurrently protected the tenants in various parts of India, and conspicuously in Bengal, from the exactions of the landlords by numerous legislative safeguards?
The MASTER of ELIBANK
Fifty per cent, is the general standard for the ratio of land revenue to the landlord's income from the land, in the areas where landlords exist; and the actual proportion more often falls below than exceeds this standard. The cesses amount to not more than 4 to 6 per cent, of the landlord's income. In calculating the rates of incidence of the revenue on the gross produce, recently quoted by me, the danger of over-valuation in the matter of crop outturn was guarded against by excluding from the calculation of crop yield the produce of all double or second crops, of all non-food crops, such as sugarcane, cotton, etc., which are usually more valuable than the staple food crops, and of the very valuable garden produce. These safeguards clearly make for a crop valuation under rather than over the actual yield. The principles on which the land revenue is assessed were stated in the Government of India's Resolution presented to this House in 1902, to which I may refer the hon. Member(Mr. Rees). The reply to the latter part of the question is in the affirmative.