Payment was made generally in cash, though there were some exceptions.
For example, in Kashmir and Orissa it was in kind. Cash payment was a
source of great hardships to the peasants. They had to immediately dispose of
the harvested crop even when the prices were very low, since revenue was to
be paid in cash. Hence there was greater demand for money, which in turn
increased the hold of baniyas on the peasants.
Machinery for Collection
There was the patwari at the village level. He kept a bahi, i.e. a register
containing information about cultivators, their lands and assessed revenue. It
was the most important document and served as evidence in settling disputes.
The village headmen, who assisted pargana revenue collectors in their task,
received two-and-a-half per cent of the tax as remuneration.
There were the qanungos at the pargana level. The post of qanungo was a
hereditary office. He maintained records. In Deccan and Gujarat, this officer
was known as desai. He was also responsible for advance of takkavi loans to
peasants and assessment of revenue.
At the sarkar (district) level, amil or amalguzar was assisted by the karkun
(accountant) and khazanadar (treasurer).
All these officials worked under the supervision of the provincial diwan,
who was directly under the diwan at the centre.
Raja Todar Mal was born in a small district of Uttar Pradesh. He probably
belonged to a Vaishya (businessman) family. He began his career in the
service of Sher Shah Suri under whose guidance he gained valuable
experience in the management of revenue affairs. Next he served under
Muzaffar Khan Turbati, the first finance minister of Akbar and helped him
to organize the newly conquered Mughal provinces.
When Akbar conquered Gujarat in 1573 he sent Todar Mal to organize the
revenue settlement of the province. The excellent work he did there
established his reputation as a great financial expert. He was then called
upon to assume military command and he played a conspicuous part in the
conquest of Bengal and in the