Notes on the land-revenue system under the Mughals


The most important feature of the Mughal land-revenue system was that the land-revenue was assessed on the basis of the productivity of the land. However, Todarmal’s bandobast formed the basis of the land-revenue assessment throughout the Mughal days.

Under the Mughals four different methods of revenue-assessment existed, namely: Zabt (or Zabti), Kankut, Ghalla-bakshi (or Batai) and Nasaq. The Zabt system was widely prevalent and it formed the core of Todarmal’s bandobast. Under this system land was measured annually, and after an average calculation of the annual yield, one- third was assessed as the state-demand.

Kankut was the most summary meteor of assessment. In ghalla-bakshi (or batai) a simple sharing of the harvested grain took place. However, the detail about the nasaq method of revenue-assessment has not yet been available. The land-revenue, called mal, was payable either in cash or in kind, the former being preferred.

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