What is the difference between mahalwari system, ryotwari and permanent settlement? Why didnot they worked?


Permanent Settlement

Ryotwari Settlement

Mahalwari Settlement

Initiated by Lord Cornwallis

Introduced by Munro and William Bentinck

Initiated by Holt Mackenzie

Executed in Bengal

Executed in Madras and Bombay

Executed in the North West Frontier Provinces

The authorities entered into settlement with the Zamindars

The authorities entered into settlement with the actual ryot or the owner of the land.

The authorities entered into settlement with the village community where they held land in common tenancy or with the landlords.

The land revenue was fixed.

The land revenue was fixed.

The revenue was not fixed.

No assessment of the land was made.

Assessment of land done. Munro assessed the revenue from 50-55% and later reduced it to one third of the estimated produce.

Assessment done. The revenue was charged on the ‘net produce’.

Causes for Failure-

  • The peasants lost the right of their lands
  • Sub-infeudation
  • The Zamindars oppressed the cultivators more revenue
  • The system was harsh and rigid.
  • Least statutory base and executive management received to implement the plan.

Causes of Failure-

  • The cultivator was required to pay a fixed sum of rent irrespective of the actual yield.
  • The assessment of the rent was done by the agents who made unfair extortions.

Causes of Failure-

  • No more enquiries made for assessment
  • State demand of revenue was very high


In Munro system the farmer was recognized as the owner of the land.  The company made a revenue settlement directly with the peasants. Thomas Munro developed this system. So it is known as Munro system.  

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