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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 6, p. 400.


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400 BANNU DISTRICT
description. The administrative unit, political or fiscal, was the tappa,
a block of villages whose limits varied with the authority of its chief.
Each tappa was a little independent state, warring with its neighbours
from tine to time and gaining or losing territory as the case might be.
Force was the only method of revenue collection. When the tax-
gatherer, whether Durrani or Sikh, cane with his army and demanded
tribute or revenue, he levied his demand on the chief man of the tappa,
who proceeded to exact the sum required from such of the landholders
as had not absconded, bribing the Saiyids to help by exempting them
from contributions, and rewarding any one who paid a defaulter's share
with that defaulter's land. For the first four years of British rule
(1849-53) the revenue was collected by crop appraisement of each field.
In 1852-3 the first summary settlement was made on the average of
these collections. This was revised, with a slight increase, in 1859. The
first demand was Rs. 1,04,000 and the second Rs. 1,13,000. Marwat
under native rule was administered with a firmer hand. Under the
Durranis the Marwats paid a sum varying from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 40,000
as revenue or tribute, generally exacted at the point of the sword, while
under the Nawab of Mankera or the Sikh rulers of Multan, both of them
uncomfortably near neighbours, a full demand was exacted. Herbert
Edwardes took over Marwat from Malik Fateh Khan Tiwana, the Sikh
lessee, in 1847, and imposed a revenue of one-fourth of the gross
produce in cash. This proportion was maintained by John Nicholson,
who made the first summary settlement in 1853. The demand was
severe and large remissions were necessary. The second summary
settlement was made on the same lines in 1858, and pressed un-
equally on the people, besides raising the total demand from 2-2 lakhs
to nearly 2-4.
In 1872 the regular settlement of the District began. Although the
actual assessments fell very much below the standard rate of half the net
'assets,' the new demand for the two tahsils was 3 lakhs (including
cesses), while the revenue of the preceding year had been 2 lakhs.
The settlement has nowhere pressed severely, but suspensions have
been found necessary in years of scarcity.
The latest revision began in 1903, When it was found that the area
under cultivation had increased since settlement by 43 per cent. and
the irrigated area had doubled in Marwat and increased by 46 per cent.
in Bannu, while prices had risen at least 25 per cent. After allowing
for frontier remissions and considerations of general policy, it is estimated
that the result will be an increase of Rs. 1,17,000, or 47 per cent., of
which Rs. 1,10,000 will be realized by Government. The rates of
assessment at the last settlement were, per acre : 'dry' land, R. 0-6-6
(maximum, 12 annas ; minimum, 1 anna) ; and 'wet' land, R. 0-9-6
(maximum, 15 annas ; minimum, 3 annas).
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