The Company introduced the Permanent Settlement in 1793. Cornwallis was the Governor-General of India at that time. By the terms of the settlement, the rajas and taluqdars were recognised as zamindars. They were asked to collect rent from the peasants and pay revenue to the Company.
The amount to be paid was fixed permanently – it was not to be increased ever in future. The Permanent Settlement, however, created problems. Company officials soon discovered that the zamindars were in fact not investing in the improvement of land. The revenue that had been fixed was so high that the zamindars found it difficult to pay. Anyone who failed to pay the revenue lost his zamindari. Numerous zamindaris were sold off at auctions organised by the Company. In the 19th century, the situation changed. Now the market rose a bit.
But Company never gained because it could not increase a revenue demand that had been fixed permanently. On the other hand, in the villages, the cultivator found the system extremely oppressive.
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