Trace the circumstances that led to the introduction of the Permanent Settlement in Bengal. Discuss its impact on landlords, peasants and the Government. [1981, 60m]
The major concern of EIC’s administration since the days of 1757 was to collect as much revenue as possible. Since agriculture was the main basis of economy and the main source of income, several land revenue experiments were introduced in haste to maximize extraction. Revenue failed on account of devastating famine in 1770. The farming system introduced by Warren Hastings in 1772 gave the revenue collection right to the highest bidder. This failed to improve the situation as revenue farmers tried to extract as much as possible without any concern for the production process. The peasants were burdened and agriculture ruined. Lord Cornwallis was sent to India in 1784 with the mandate to streamline revenue administration.
The lack of information about Land Revenue Assessment and collection which is resulting in corruption leading to losses for the East India Company. Other systems like Revenue farming, QUINQUINNIAL system were not able to work properly. It was because of this, that Cornwallis introduced Permanent Settlement on recommendations of John Shore.