Polaj is land which is annually cultivated for each crop in succession and is never allowed to lie fallow.
Land Revenue System:
- Revenue from the land was the economic mainstay of the Mughal Empire.
- It was therefore vital for the state to create an administrative apparatus to ensure control over agricultural production and to fix and collect revenue from across the length and breadth of the rapidly expanding empire.
- This apparatus included the office (Daftar) of the diwan who was responsible for supervising the fiscal system of the empire. Thus, revenue officials and record keepers penetrated the agricultural domain and became a decisive agent in shaping agrarian relations.
- The Mughal state tried to first acquire specific information about the extent of the agricultural lands in the empire and what these lands produced before fixing the burden of taxes on people.
- The land revenue arrangements consisted of two stages – first, assessment and then actual collection. The JAMA was the amount assessed, as opposed to hasil, the amount collected.
- In his list of duties of the amil-guzar or revenue collector, Akbar decreed that while he should strive to make cultivators pay in cash, the option of payment in kind was also to be kept open.
- While fixing revenue, the attempt of the state was to maximise its claims. Both cultivated and cultivable lands were measured in each province.
- The Ain compiled the aggregates of such lands during Akbar’s rule. Efforts to measure lands continued under subsequent emperors.
Classification of lands under Akbar:
The following is a listing of criteria of classification excerpted from the Ain:
- The Emperor Akbar in his profound sagacity classified the lands and fixed a different revenue to be paid by each.
- Parauti is land left out of cultivation for a time that it may recover its strength.
- Chachar is land that has lain fallow for three or four years.
- Banjar is land uncultivated for five years and more.
- Of the first two kinds of land, there are three classes, good, middling, and bad.
- They add together the produce of each sort, and the third of this represents the medium produce, one-third part of which is exacted as the Royal dues.