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Surat District Land Revenues

Volume 91: debated on Friday 15 March 1901

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that in the Surat District, out of a total of 95 per cent. of land revenue collected last year, 85 per cent. was received from the money-lenders and only 10 per cent. from the cultivators; can he state under what authority the land revenue was received from money-lenders who are not in possession of the land, and what interest is exacted by the money-lenders from the cultivators for these advances; and whether, looking to the existing indebtedness of the cultivators, he will direct this practice to be abandoned.

The matters to which this question refers are being investigated by the Famine Commission. Until I receive the Report of the Commission and the opinion of the Government of India, I do not propose to take any action.