Social Scientist. v 13, no. 148 (Sept 1985) p. 45.

Graphics file for this page

unlike most other reforms whose advantages remain confined to the particular fields in which they are carried out.

Is it any wonder then that the late Prime Minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhuito attended to Land Reforms before taking up the reforms in other areas ? It was realized that the masses of Pakistan, like most other countries of Asia still live in rural areas and make a living out of land. The produce generated from land is also the largest single item of the Gross National Product and its contribution alone to National Income is still more than 50 per cent. The rural population accounts for over "70 per cent of the total. On the other hand, the bulk of the rural population consists of the landless and small holders. They lack the very basic resource i.e., land with which to work. The few who cultivate lands, of others are constantly haunted by the fear of being thrown out. This insecurity is the worst enemy of production. In such circumstances, land reforms are an imperative for the development of human resources in rural areas, so that production is maximized, intensity of agriculture is enhanced and employment is generated.

Against this background, the people's Government within three months of taking over power moved in with Revolutionary Land Reforms, For the first time in the history of Pakistan effective changes in agrarian structure were made by law. Land, the precious resource concentrated in a few hands, was acquired by law from those who could not even use all of it. Land was then redistributed to the landless peasantry.

Similarly the tiller for the first time had been provided security of tenure. The peasant could now put his body and soul into his work without fear of whimsical ejectment.

The essence ot the Land Reforms was that they slashed down \n one stroke the ceiling of an individual holding from 500 acres irrigated or 1000 acres unirrigated (36,000 Produce Index Units )fixed by the so -called reforms oftheAyub Regime, to 150 acres irrigated or 300 acres unirrigated (12,000 PIUs) by enforcement of Land Reforms Regulation No : 115 of 1972. This ceiling was further reduced to 100 acres of irrigated or 200 acres of unirrigated land (8,000 produce index units) by another Act of 1977. Still further reduction of ceiling w^s to be effected during that tenure of the government. The lavish concessions permitted byAyub Khan's Martial Law Regulation (repealed by the People's Government), to the landed aristocracy allowing retention of additional 150 acres of orchards, gifts of land upto 18,-000 PIUs to heirs, and transfer of land upto 6,000 PIUs to family dependents, which in most cases inflated individual holdings upto 80,000 PIUs had been Scrapped.

For the first time, notice of land acquired by bureaucracy was taken and all government servants who acquired land from 1959 upto 2 years of ceasing to be in service, had been required to surrender land in excess of 100 acres.

Shikarqahs and Waqfs exempted by the repealed Regulation had been placed within the pale of Reforms. Stud Farms distributed by way of pat-

Back to Social Scientist | Back to the DSAL Page

This page was last generated on Wednesday 12 July 2017 at 18:02 by
The URL of this page is: