What Is Permanent Settlement?

Charlotte Miller

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Are you curious to know what is permanent settlement? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about permanent settlement in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is permanent settlement?

The Permanent Settlement, also known as the Permanent Settlement of Bengal, was a significant land revenue system introduced in colonial India during British rule. Instituted in 1793 by the then Governor-General Lord Cornwallis, this policy aimed to restructure land revenue collection in Bengal, marking a transformative phase in India’s agrarian history.

What Is Permanent Settlement?

Historical Context: Before the Permanent Settlement, land revenue collection in Bengal, primarily through the Zamindari system, faced issues of arbitrary taxation and landownership disputes.

The System’s Mechanism: Under this settlement, Zamindars, who were landlords or intermediaries, were granted hereditary rights over land. They were responsible for collecting revenue from peasants and, in return, paid a fixed sum as revenue to the British government.

Key Features Of The Permanent Settlement:

  • Fixed Revenue: Zamindars had a fixed annual revenue obligation to the British government, regardless of fluctuations in agricultural output or land productivity. This fixed revenue, known as the ‘Land Tax,’ remained constant over time.
  • Hereditary Rights: Zamindars were granted hereditary ownership of land, providing them with greater stability and incentives to invest in land improvement.
  • Impact on Peasants: The system, while offering stability to Zamindars, often proved burdensome for peasants. They faced high rents and were vulnerable to exploitation by Zamindars, leading to agrarian distress.

Legacy And Consequences:

  • Economic Impact: The Permanent Settlement led to a significant shift in landownership patterns, consolidating power in the hands of the Zamindars. This system affected the economic structure by limiting the flexibility of revenue collection and obstructing agricultural development.
  • Social Ramifications: The system entrenched social hierarchies, widening the gap between the landlord class and the peasantry. It also contributed to rural impoverishment and agrarian unrest.

Evaluation And Criticism:

  • Efficacy: While the Permanent Settlement aimed to create stability in revenue collection, its rigidity proved detrimental in the long run. It failed to account for changing agricultural conditions and led to economic stagnation.
  • Impact on Land Use: The system discouraged investment in agriculture, as Zamindars were more focused on revenue extraction than land improvement or modernization.


The Permanent Settlement remains a landmark policy in India’s agrarian history, marking a shift in land revenue collection and ownership. While intended to provide stability and streamline revenue collection, its inflexibility and adverse impact on peasants and agricultural development drew criticism over time. Understanding its legacy provides valuable insights into the complexities of colonial policies and their far-reaching consequences on India’s socio-economic fabric.


What Is The Permanent Settlement Class 8?

The Permanent Settlement was an introduction to ensure a regular flow of revenue to the East India Company and also encourage the zamindars to invest in improving lands. The settlement stated that the amount to be given to the government was fixed permanently. The zamindars were given the power to collect revenue.

What Is Permanent Settlement For Class 7?

Permanent settlements refer to the place where people live by building their own homes. Permanent settlement can be further classified into two terms, namely rural and urban settlements.

What Was Permanent Settlement Class 12?

The Permanent Settlement of Bengal was brought into effect by the East India Company headed by the Governor-General Lord Cornwallis in 1793. This was basically an agreement between the company and the Zamindars to fix the land revenue.

What Is A Permanent Settlement In Geography?

Permanent Settlements : In this people build permanent houses. With time several such structure develop and form a settlement. The availability of water and land for cultivation are important reasons for such settlements growing.

I Have Covered All The Following Queries And Topics In The Above Article

What Is Permanent Settlement Class 8

What Is Permanent Settlement System

What Is Permanent Settlement Class 12

What Is Permanent Settlement