LAND REFORMS IN PAKISTAN
LAND REFORMS IN PAKISTAN
Land reforms means to break up large estates in small size for distribution to the farmers with or without payments. Land reform in the past was mainly carried primarily for equity and social justice. Now it is mainly carried out for increasing agricultural productivity as well as the income of the farmers. The main land reforms introduced in Pakistan since 1947 are as follows;- (1) Land Reform Proposals of Agrarian Committee 1948
The all Pakistan Muslim League the then most significant political party formed a Land Reform Committee in 1948 to examine the land tenure system and recommend suitable changes in it. The main recommendations were as under. 1. All the Jagirs as well as the proprietary rights of such land as awarded imams by the British Regime should be taken over by the Government without any compensation. 2. A landlord cannot have more than 150 acres of canal irrigated land, 300 acres of semi irrigated and 450 acres of barani land. The area in excess of the above limit, after being paid suitable compensation in lieu thereof should be distributed among the cultivators. 3. A legal recognition of the fact that occupancy tenants are the virtual owners of their cultivators. 4. Levying tax on farm income at par with non farm incomes.
5. Guarantee of adequate security of tenure to the tenants-at will which should not be less than 16 years in any case. 6. A landlord cannot have more than 25 acres of land for self-cultivation. 7. The share of tenant, out of total produce should be raised from 50% to 66%. 8. To check sub-division and fragmentation of holding, co-operative farming should be promoted. The above recommendations of the Agrarian Reform Committee were appreciated. The interested parties, however, stood in the way of their final approval. The recommendations were therefore shelved. (2.) Land reforms of 1959
. Late Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan constituted a Commission of nine members to consider the problems relating to the ownership and tenancy of agricultural land in Pakistan. The Commission presented its report on January 24, 1959. The salient features of the report were as under: 1. A person could not own more than either 500 acres of canal irrigated land or 1000 acres of unrelated land or 36000 produce index units whichever is more. In addition, an owner was allowed to have 150 acres of land for gardens and pastures. Over and above the limit, the land was to be taken by the Government after the payment of suitable compensation to the owners. 2. Utilization of resumed area. The excess land acquired by the Government was sold on reasonable conditions to the tenants. Afterwards, the remaining land was sold to the deserving persons. 3. Creation of pool. The sale-proceeds of the acquired land was pooled in a separate fund. This fund was utilized for payment of compensation to the landlords to meet the administrative expenses in implementing the development projects in the acquired land and clearing of the bad debts. 4. Jagirs. Every kind of jagir, religious, charitable or educational institutions, was abolished, However, the institutions were given grants-in-aid. 5. Protection to tenants. Illegal ejectment of the tenants was prohibited. In case a tenant was legally ejected, he was to be provided alternative land. He was also to be properly compensated for the improvements made in the land. 6. Proprietary rights for the occupancy tenants. The existing law with regard to giving proprietary rights to the occupancy tenants was made operative as usual. 7. Prohibition of illegal exactions. Illegal exactions by the landlords were prohibited. The ownership ceiling under 1959 reforms was quite high because. (i) It applied to individuals instead of families.
(ii) the owners were allowed to transfer land up to a specified limit before calculation of their entitlements. (iii) special exemptions were also granted for land under orchards and livestock farms. As a...
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