Role of Land Reforms in Indian Economics

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The reforms of land as a natural resource in a country pictures out that every country has to work for the economic development of them through proper use of the resources. Land is a national resource for every country and they are responsible to secure the livelihood and economic welfare of its population. On the other hand it is also important to facilitate services for the people in a manner so that they live with the interest and should have sustainable life. In a broad sense land reform means to bring improvement in agriculture system of the country. The reform includes measures and policies related to redistribution of land, good procedures of rent, improvement of tenancy and other agricultural issues.

Properly using land after the reform is really essential to sustainable agricultural production and economic development. Land and the other natural resources are mainly used for development in any country. In most developing countries like India land had been the tool for political groups and the impact of such issues put a concern for continuing of land reforms. Indeed, land reform in India was a bit problematic among the political parties because they thought that everything would go against their interest. Land reform in India was important because it had maintained the agriculture sector and through that there were many measures given which had brought change and betterment for the agriculture. Land is a valuable resource for development therefore, we should utilize this resource carefully. The main purpose of land reforms in India were to increase the production level and implement the needed social justice in order to concentrate on the lower class of the society.

It is obvious and pretty sure that the basis of all economic activity in any country is land. If we put a focus on review of land and reforms of land in India we will see that it was different in many time frames. Like as at the time land in India were held by British cultivators and Zamindars and the tax was taken and collected through Zamindari, Ryotwari or Mahalwari systems. It was showed that through this system the rich landowning class was getting more powerful year after year and they were accumulating more wealth. While, on the hand the class and small farmer were getting less and they after each had less gains and remained landless. India had start working on the implications of socialistic principles after independence like the equality in social, economic and political areas and therefore, at that time land reforms were essential steps towards social and economic equality because land is a fundamental asset needed for a good development.

Right after the independence the congress’s economic programs committee worked to reach a proposal of changing the agrarian sector. There it was basically focused on the land use rather than the profit and also it was discussed that land is a source of employment. Reforming of land in India started after the independence and at that period of time Nehru also had a sociable idea because the people who had large amount of land with them were the major challenges to the new India after independence era.

The first appointed committee in 1949 which was named congress agrarian reforms committee started work on land reforms in India and had recommended the abolition and ending of Zamindari system. It was clearly showed that land reforms that started would increase the agricultural production because we see that through land development small farmers develops and starts investing in the land they owns and they were also benefited and received inputs provided to them like technologies and innovations for the more production and development.

There were also approaches to land reforms suggested by the P.C Joshi which were the Gandhian approach, Radical nationalist approach and the Marxist approach. The first approach basically meant that landlords should give their surplus land as a donation to the poor and small farmer and the Radical nationalist was not satisfactory and worked formally with the government, the third approach also focused on the small farmer movements and other non-legal lines. A clear hint is given after the consideration of the three approaches which means to reduce the sharp class differences and favoring the small farmers. Land reforms are giving good condition for the small farmers, because there will be redistribution of income and wealth through which the small farmers benefit and on the other hand poverty is also decreased due to the issues of proper land reforms.

Governments are always trying to have developments through the very suitable and proper economic decisions. The governments put efforts in order to encourage the agriculture progress by the agrarian reforms in favor of small farmer and land owner who had less land or share of crop is small and also they have less incentive for carrying out the investment and expansions. The other way round for enabling and encouraging the cultivation where more labor is used in other words labor intensive because we see that the large landowners or simply feudal utilizing their resource means the land under their into a very large manner which is really of not good result and also wastefull.

Land reform objective showed that everyone can have a right on a piece of land and protecting tribal from outsiders so that no outsiders should take their land. Land reform legislation in India gives a clarity about the abolition of intermediaries, tenancy regulation, and ceiling on holdings with the idea of redistribution of surplus land to land landless. Sometimes land owners resist against the land reforms by using their political power where they register their own land under names of different relatives to bypass the ceiling and just talks around different plots land so that to run out of the law.

The first phase which shows the land reforms in three ways the number one is the ending of intermediaries, the number two is about the reform of tenants, the number three is the redistribution of land by using . The abolition of intermediaries was successful into some extent, while the tenancy and land ceiling was not that successful. The second phase where the focus was on the uncultivated land relatively efforts were put on to bring them under cultivation. The third phase in this phase it was focused on the water and soil conservation so that to work on water shed areas, desert area and wasteland. The fourth phase (1995 onwards) focuses more on land legislation, land revenue administration and clarity in land records. Land reforms were important initiatives to land policy in India because it brought change in order to have suitable development and also addressed the political and economic aspect from the land reform approaches.

The definite and clear effects of land reforms in India is basically steps to assist people who are not living with the good conditions of life. The purpose of land reform is to build up system where poorer section of the society could also have a use and justice should be applied by the land distribution. Land as the basic factor for agriculture production helps most of the common and small farmers because this had been the way of life in India, while the economic importance was cleared by the governments that comes one after another. Consequently the aim of agricultural development is to get the self-sufficiency and meeting the domestic demand agricultural raw materials. It was very clear from the beginning to put attempts for the reform of agrarian sector.

Land reforms were observed to be the important step and instrument for socio-economic change in India because it shaped a part of the agrarian strategy and reform which has transformed and modernized the Indian agriculture system. Political parties, leaders, economists and all other government administrators played the vital role for making good legislation and implementing them in post-independent India. Based on the sociological sense traditionally the upper group owned the lands while the lower groups are the tenants and agricultural laborers and therefore, there will be social inequality.

The most clear and obvious economic point of view of the land reform is inequality of land. A country with the very less scale of land and more rural population who live below the poverty line have very less number of people who might have access to some amount land. Economic development is defined in a manner where there is a sustainable increase and in the level income per capita we see that rise of the per capita is due to the economic and social structures of the society. More capital formation comes from the more input which is given to the farmer as the machineries and other facilities in order to increase the production level and also using the land properly. There would also be many more indicators for increasing productivity like labor and technology which will increase the level of potential saving and investments in the economy.

Changing the level of the rural development and unemployment by farm sizes would also affect the economic and distribution of income which are mostly coming from the agriculture and a good land use planning of the rural areas. The small farmer with the level of productivity would also enjoy a bit better life standard.

Sometimes it happens that small farmer would work better and are more productive than the large farmers and landowner, so the big landowners should have to give land for lease or sale to the small farmer in order to increase the productivity level. So the given facts are based on the operation of land market, or any other related agricultural productions we can see that the small farmer worked on his land with the own family members while the large landowner would hire worker here comes the incentive issue. Sometimes the small farmer won’t be able to pay the lease amount and therefore, the large landowner will try to have a share from their outputs. It also happens that often the small farmers can’t use the leased land properly and the landowner would take the land back and hence the tenancy rule will drop down and put effects on the economic progress and development in the rural areas.

If the efficiency of land reform would get weaker than the higher ability farmers would work on smaller pieces of lands and landowners lease out the lower quality of land plots as the result the land reform is damaged and productivity also comes down relatively. When the agriculture productivity increases there should also be a progress and development of other sectors too like the industrial sector in order to maintain a sustained economic development. Land reform changes the capital formation in agriculture sector small farmers would not give tax and their income would increase as a result their saving would also increase. Saving in this manner increases the capital accumulation and gives better picture for economic development the landowners were taking loans and could not well and they will be wasted. Now the small farmers also able to take loans and use them for the purposes of productivity these are all because of the land reforms.


Land as an economic factor really plays a vital role for the development of the economics in a country because it is the base for many economic activities. In the contemporary economics we see that land as a natural resource not only paves the way of progress for the agriculture sector but it can also be a source of investment for many other main sector. In addition to its importance there should be systems, legislation and policies for the land reform, management and administration in order to have a better use from this natural resource. Here in this paper I focused on land reforms, role and systems in India. I found that before the independence in India no special work was done regarding the land reforms and a country like India with a lot of population had problem with the agriculture and land. There were large landowners everything was under their control and the small farmers could not have better access to land. After the independence the land reforms had started which was same as the agrarian reform. The agriculture productivity was increased and the redistribution of land was in favor of small farmers they got better and put a part and share to the economic development.

Above all what had been achieved from the land reforms in India was good and put effects on the growth and development. On the other hand in contemporary India we again see that due to the weak implications of land policies and legislation and also giving more focuses on other sectors like Industrial and services land and agriculture is given less focus.

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Role of Land Reforms in Indian Economics. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved April 24, 2024 , from

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