INDIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS, 8:2 (1953), p. 33-43.
++Page 33

AGRICULTURAL INCOME AND ITS DISTRIBUTION
IN BIHAR

by
S. R. BOSE RLA., B.Sc. (Lond.)
Director of Statistics, Patna.

Bihar is a predominantly agricultural State with 86 per cent of her population depending upon agriculture. In my study of the National Income of Bihar published in the Indian Journal of Economics, July 1951, I had estimated the gross agricultural income of Bihar for the year 1846-47 at Rs. 230 crores, basing myself on the statistics published in the Season and Crop Report, and at Rs. 272 crores when based on the statistics contained in the Crop Survey Report. In the present study I have estimated the agricultural income of Bihar not on the figures of production for a single year, viz., 1946-47, as I had done in my study of the national income of Bihar, but on the average of four years' figures, viz., 1945-46 to 1948-49. Out of the 19 agricultural products that I have considered, figures of production for the four years, 1945-46 to 1948-49, are not available for five crops, viz., linseed, rape and mustard, sesamum, castor and cotton; and for these crops I had to utilise the figures for a single year, viz., 1949-50. For all the 19 crops, however, I have utilised the figures arrived at by the new system of crop estimation by complete survey which was introduced in Bihar in 1945-46; and the results of which for the first three years were published in the Crop Survey Report. I have, however, valued the production at 1946-47 prices, as I had done in my study of the national income of Bihar, only with very slight revisions.

I should point out at the very outset that the figures of agricultural income that I have arrived at, are subject to a considerable margin of error. Even the figures of acreage under different crops, although these are supposed to be based on complete enumeration survey, are perhaps not quite accurate. But even assuming that the figures of area are correct, the figures of outturn of crops are likely to contain a large element of error. Out of the 19 crops considered, production is estimated on the basis of crop cutting experiments only in the case of four crops, viz., paddy, wheat, gram and masoor; while for the remaining 15 crops the figures of production are based on eye estimation which is coloured largely by the personal bias of the estimator. The figures of production which are arrived at by multiplying the area under a particular crop by the yield per acre of that crop, thus contain two sources of error, viz. the error in the figures of acreage and the error in the estimation of yield per acre; and these two errors may not be of a compensating

++Page 34 THE INDIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (1953)

nature. Moreover, the outturn of the crop is liable to much grease variations from year to year than the variations in its acreage. Thus even during the short space of 4 years covered by the study, I have frequently come across cases where the outturn of a crop in a district was double, or even treble, the outturn in the previous year; and although I have taken the average production over a period of four years yet even four years is too short a period to indicate the normal outturn of a crop in a district. Finally, the valuation of the product introduced a third source of error in the prices by which the quantity produced has to be multiplied. For 10 of the 19 crops, I have utilised the harvest prices for the year 1946-47 as given in the Season and Crop Report for that year. I am not sure that these figures are absolutely reliable But for the remaining 9 crops, the figures of prices were not available in the Season and Crop Report, and were only arrived at indirectly and may thus contain even a larger source of error than in the prices published in the Season and Crop Report. Thus a computation of agricultural income must be subject to much greater sources of error than computation of the acreage or outturn of crops.

The 19 crops considered here account for 88 per cent of the gross area sown in Bihar, and the remaining 12 per cent of the cropped area consists of area under the millets (such as marua, jowar and bajra, tea, vegetables other than potato, etc. It should be noted that the total area sown, as given in the Crop Survey Report, excludes the area under orchards (which includes area under fruit trees, such as mango, banana, litchis, etc.); while the total area sown as given in the Season and Crop Report, includes the area under fruits. Since I have utilised the figures of the former report as being more accurate of the two, the area under fruits would have been excluded even if the crops grown in 100 per cent of the cropped area had been included. As it was, I had to content myself with the crops grown on only 88 per cent of the cropped area, as figures of acreage, production and prices were not available for crops grown on the remaining 12 per cent of the sown area. No attempt has been made to include the value of forest produce, animal products, fisheries, etc. in the computation of the agricultural income.

For the 10 main crops, I have valued the production of each district by taking the harvest price for that district, as given in the Season and Crop Report; for sugarcane, I have taken a uniform price for all districts. It is the price fixed by Government at which sugar factories were required to purchase cane from cane-growers during the season 1946-47. For arhar, the wholesale prices ruling at the headquarters of the different districts in 1946-47 have been utilised; and for masoor, khesari, peas, chillies, potatoes, sesamum and castor, one uniform price for each of these crops has been used in valuing the production of all the districts. in the absence of separate price data for each district. It should further

++Page 35 AGRICULTURAL INCOME AND ITS DISTRIBUTION IN BIHAR (1953)

be noted that it is the primary production that has been valued; and the value added by subsequent processing of the crops (such as the conversion of cane into gur) has been excluded as far as possible. The price taken into consideration is the price which the growers received for the crop, and which is normally substantially lower than the whole- sale price of the crop at district headquarters. It is needless to add that although the entire outturn of the crops has been valued, it is not fact that the entire output is brought to the market and passes through the pale of money economy. It is only in the case of cash crops that almost the entire output is marketed; but for most of the other crops, only a moiety of the amount produced is sold for cash. The following table shows the amount (in lakhs of maunds) of the different crops produced in Bihar together with their aggregate money value (in lakhs or rupees), the share of each crop in the total value of crops produced, and the average price (per maund) of each crop:--

 
====================================================================
                                         Value of each
              Quantity     Value of       crop as          Average
Crop.        produced      production   percentage         value per
             in lakhs of   in lakhs of  of the total       maund.
               mds.         rupees.     value of all
                                        crops.             Re.
     --------------------------------------------------------------

Paddy   .....   1578.8     14,760.4      61.9               9.3
Wheat   .....    110.7      1,625.1      6.8              14.05
Gram    .....     85.4      1,021.3       4.3              12.0
Maize  ......    129.9      1,154.1       4.8               8.9
Barley  .....     68.2        627.2       2.6               9.5
Masoor ......     23.4        246.3       1 0              10.5
Arhar  ......     45.2        541.4       2.3              12.0
Khesari .....    109.3        874.0       3.7               8.0
Peas ........     16.6        199.3       0.8              12.0
Sugarcane ...    644.9        806.1       3.4               1.25
Potato ......     47.4        332.0       1.4               7.0
Jute   ......     18.3        495.1       2.1              27.1
Tobacco......      6.2        431.9       1.8              69.7
Chillies ....     11.4        340.6       1.4              30.0
Linseed  ....     13.1        156.9       0.7              11.9
Rape and Mustard   9.7        193.0       O.8              19.9
Sesamum........    1.0         22.4       0.1              22.0
Castor ........    1.2         15.6       0.07             13.0
Cotton ........    0.4         12.1       0 05             33.2
         -------------    ---------     ------            -----
      Total   12,924.2     23,844.6     100.02              8.2
=========================================================================
The table brings out the overwhelming importance of rice in our agricultural economy. Paddy constituted 54 per cent of the total volume and 42 per cent of the total value of agricultural production in Bihar. Oilseeds and cotton are of very little significance in Bihar. Our high priced crops are the cash crops; tobacco, chillies and jute; while the low priced crops are sugarcane, khesari and maize. Bearing in mind that varying proportions of different crops are marketed, a scheme of weights based

++Page 36 THE INDIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (1953)

on the value of crops produced and value of crops marketed is given below:-


======================================================================
                                     Weights based     Weights based
                     Percentage of    on the value of  on the value of
    Crop.              the crop      total production    the crop
                      marketed.        of the crop.     marketed.
    
Rice  ............       30                69.4           56.3
Wheat  ...........       67                 7.6           13.8
Gram  ............       20                 4.9            2.6
Maize  ...........       17                 3.4            2.5
Barley ...........       11                 3.0            0.9
Sugarcane.........       87                 3.8            9.0
Jute .............      100                 2.3            6.3
Linseed   ........       90                 0.7            1.8
Rape and Mustard .       67                 0.9            1.6
Tobacco ..........       95                 2.0            5.2 
=======================================================================
The following table shows the net area sown in each district, the net area sown as percentage of the total area of the district, the total quantity of agricultural produce raised in each district, the average outturn of crops per acre in each district and the total vaule of the crops raised in each district:-


=============================================================================
                           Net area     Aggregate     Average     Aggregate
                 Net area  sown as %    volume of     production  value of
      District     sown    of the total  agricultural  per aore   agricultural
                 (in ,000  area of the   production    net area   production
                   acres)   district    (in lakhs of   sown       (in lakhs of
                                              mds.)   (in maunds)  rupees)
      -----------------------------------------------------------------
Patna  .........   993       72.9         178.8         18.0        1,372.7
Gaya   ......... 1,952       64.3         211.5         10.8        1,426.2
Shahabad ....... 1,728       61.5         251.3         14.5        2,239.5
Saran .......... 1,223       71.4         281.5         23.0        1,375.0
Champaran....... 1,447       63.9         305.4         21.1        1,322.0
Muzaffarpur .... 1,498       77.5         216.6         14.5        1,563.8
Darbhanga....... 1,578       73.4         240.1         15.2        1,582.2
Bhagalpur ...... 1,537       56.8         130.6          8.5        2,089.9
Monghyr  ....... 1,656       65.8         126.6          7.6        1,151.6
Purnea ......... 1,550       49.7         203.4         13.1        2,466.9
Santal Pargana.. 1,751       49.8         198.7         11.3        1,428.5
Ranchi ......... 1,794       39.4         137.5          7.7        1,533.6
Palamau ........   616       14.8          55.1          8.3          711.4
Hazaribagh ....  1,113       35.4         109.6          9.9          827.1
Manbhum  ....... 1,024       38.9         182.9         17.8        1,921.8
Singhbhum ......   652       22.8          94.7         14.5          834.3
               -------       ----      --------         ----       --------   
      Bihar ... 22,156       49.5       2,924.2         13.2       23,844.6 
==============================================================================
The largest areas of cultivated land are in Gaya, Ranchi, Santal Pargana and Shahabad districts, while Singhbhum, Palamau and Patna districts have the smallest cropped areas.

++Page 37. AGRICULTURAL INCOME AND ITS DISTRIBUTION IN BIHAR (1953)

The figures given above show that the proportion of the total area that is cultivated varies greatly from district to district, from 77.5 per cent in the district of Muzaffarpur, to only 14.8 per cent in the district of Palamau It is generally low in the hilly tracts of the Chotanagpur division which are, however, rich in forest and mineral resources. The high production per acre in Saran and Champaran districts is mainly attributable to the concentration of sugarcane production in these districts the two districts between them account for almost half the sugarcane produced in Bihar). Monghyr, Ranchi, Palamau, Bhagalpur and Hazaribagh districts show the lowest yield per acre. Although Champaran and Saran take the pride of place in respect of the volume of production, they are low down in the list (12th and 10th respectively) in respect of the value of produce raised. This is mainly due to these two districts concentrating on the production of sugarcane which is a low priced crop. The district with the highest value of agricultural production is Purnea, mainly because of its concentration in the production of high priced crops like jute and tobacco. Shahabad comes second; while, curiously enough, the third place is taken by Bhagalpur district, which has a very low production per acre; but where prices generally are higher than in other districts. The table on page 38 shows how the production of each crop is distributed among the different districts of Bihar.

The table shows that the production of cash crops in Bihar is highly concentrated in certain regions. Thus, sugarcane is localised in Saran and Champaran, jute in Purnea, cotton in Saran, Ranchi and Palamau, tobacco in Muzaffarpur and Purnea, and chillies in Darbhanga and Monghyr districts. The crop which shows the least concentration is rice The totals of the percentage production of all the 19 crops in each district give the following results:-

    
           Totals of percentage production of all 19 crops.
------------------------------------------------------------------------    
Patna  ....................  163.65     Monghyr ............    160.9
Gaya ......................  137.4      Purnea  ............    188.1
Shahbad  ..................  148.4      Santal Pargana .....     52.3
Saran .....................  231.4      Ranchi   ...........     48.84
Champaran .................  131.8      Palamau   ..........    102.68
Muzaffarpur ...............  153.56     Hazaribagh .........     42.7
Darbhanga..................  145.03     Manbhum   ..........     53.08
Bhagalpur..................  117.28     Singhbhum  .........     23.41
 
=======================================================================
It thus appears that although the largest volume of agricultural production is to be found in the Champaran district, the most represen- ative agricultural district in Bihar (growing almost all the crops in appreciable quantities) is Saran, which also claims the largest total Production per acre of sown area. Singhbhum is the least representative agricultural district in Bihar.

For financing the production of Rs. 238 crores worth of agricultural produce in Bihar, or, if we take 100 per cent of the sown area, Rs. 271

++Page 38 THE INDIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (1953)


==============================================================================

Percentage distribution of each crop among the different districts of Bihar     
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------
District Paddy Wheat Gram Masoor Maize Barley Arhar Khesria Peas Sugar- Potato  
         Jute Tobacco Chillies                                   cane    
       -------------------------------------------------------------------      

Patna    3.8    6.5  13.3  29.1   2.5    2.0    2.9   16.5   6.6  8.2   25.8    
           0.05   1.5    4.7
    
Gaya     6.9   11.2  14.0  13.2   1.9    4.6    4.6   14.4  10.9  6.3   10.9    
           0.2    0.5    1.4
    
Shahabad 7.9   11.6  17.2  11.1   1.2    4.6    5.7   18.5   7.3  9.3    8.8    
           0.2    0.1    1.1  
   
Saran .. 2.4   20.2   6.7   2.3   15.8  25.5   22.4    1.1  16.7 23.2   22.2    
           0.4    3.0    0.6  
    
Champrn  6.3    5.7   2.0  15.4    7.4  14.7   11.0    3.6   8.2 25.1    1.7    
           0.6    2.0    0.7

Muzffrpr 5.7    9.0   3.9   7.4   10.9  16.4    9.5    12.3  4.3  9.2    5.9    
          0.7  34.5    7.4  

Dhrbhnga 6.5    7.7   3.1   4.2    8.8   8.3    8.3     7.0  4.3 13.5    4.7 
            0.7  17.9    35.9
    
Bhagalpr 4.7    6.0   7.5   1.8    12.5  5.8    3.6     8.8 12.1  0.7    3.6    
          5.0   5.2     0.8  

Monghyr  2.6   15.2  16.1   9.3     8.3  5.8    8.7     8.1 19.0  2.3    3.8    
          0.2   1.8    42.9 

Purnea   9.6    4.1   4.3   3.1     7.8  4.0    2.5     4.6  4.7  0.2    4.4
           90.5  31.0     2.8
    
SantalPg 11.2   0.3   2.4   0.7     7.2  1.3     4.3    3.1   2.4 0.2    0.8    
          0.8   0.7     0.4

Ranchi    8.3   0.2   1.2   0.5     0.9  0.4     5.0    0.2   0.4 0.04   2.2    
          0.1   0.7     0.2 
 
Palamau   1.8   1.1   6.3   1.2     4.6  5.5     6.4     1.0  1.4 0.5    1.0    
          0.05  0.03    0.5  

Hazaribagh 5.7  0.9   1.0   0.3     6.1  1.1     3.0     0.3  1.5 0.6    3.7    
          nil   0.3     0.4 


Manbhum. 11.0   0.1   0.3   0.01    3.1  0.07    1.5     0.1  0.06 0.6   0.4    
           0.3  0.7     0.1  

Singhbhum 5.8   0.3   0.7   0.4     0.9  0.01    0.6     0.4  0.2  0.02  0.04 
            0.2   0.2     0.4
    
=============================================================================

++Page 39. AGRICULTURAL INCOME AND ITS DISTRIBUTION IN BIHAR (1953)

crores worth of agricultural porduce, the licensed money lenders advanced in 1948-49 Rs. 10.88 crores (of which only four per cent constituted unsecured loans); Government advanced Rs. 0.35 crores under the Agriculturists Loans Act, 1884 and Rs. 0.19 crores under the Land Improvement Loans Act, 1883 and the Agricultural Co-operative Credit societies advanced a paltry sum of Rs. 6.1 lakhs in 1948-49. The advances made by scheduled and non-scheduled banks for agricultural purposes in Bihar could not have exceeded on 31st December 1950 a sum of Rs. 30 lakhs. It may be noted that a considerable proportion of the money advanced by registered money lenders is borrowed for non-agricultural purposes such as marriages, sradhs, illness, etc. No doubt a substantial sum is advanced by unlicensed money lenders, and perhaps not all the unsecured loans advanced by licensed money lenders are shown in the returns; yet it must be admitted that considering the aggregate value of the produce raised, the credit facilities available to the cultivators ere meagre.

It would be interesting to compare the agricultural income accruing in each district of Bihar, with the agricultural income assessable to Agricultural Income-Tax. It should be noted that for arriving at the assessable income for taxation under the A.I.T. Act, a number of deductions are made from the gross agricultural income. Thus deductions are allowed for the payment of land revenue, rent, local cess, chowkidari tax, irrigation charges, rent collection charges, expenses for the maintenance of irrigation works, interest on mortgages and expenses of cultivation including transport to market and maintenance of implements end cattle. Incomes below Rs. 5,000/- were originally exempted from taxation, but the limit was subsequently reduced to Rs. 3,500/-. The income is taxed either at the place where the income accrues, or at the place where the assessee resides, at the option of the assessee. The following table compares the value of the crops raised in each district of Bihar with the agricultural income (above Rs. 5,000/-) which was assessed to tax in each district (excepting the district of Monghyr for which figures were not available).

There were 1928 assessees in Bihar (excluding the Monghyr district) in 1948-49 Thus only 1.6 per cent of the gross agricultural income was subjected to the tax. There is hardly any correlation between the two sets of figures given above. Thus although the income assessed to tax was the highest in the Darbhanga district, this district stood only fifth in order of the aggregate value of agricultural produce. Purnea which had the highest value of agricultural production, stood sixth in order of the income assessed to tax. Only in the case of Bhagalpur, Hazaribagh and Singhbhum districts the two orders tally. A noticeable feature is that although both the aggregate volume and value of agricultural production in the Palamau district is the lowest in Bihar, yet the income assessed to tax in this district is almost as high as that in Shahabad

++Page 40. THE INDIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (1953)

=====================================================================
                          Value of agricultural Income assessed to 
       District               produce            Agricultural Income 
                                                          Tax
                           (in lakhs of rupees)  (in lakhs of rupees)
       ------------        --------------------  --------------------
Patna  .............                1372.7                14.9 
Gaya   .............                1426.2                58.3 
Shahabad ...........                2238.5                12.9 
Saran  .............                1376.0                12.3 
Champaran  .........                1322.0                39.0 
Muzaffarpur  .......                1663.8                37.0 
Darbhanga    .......                1582.2                73.2 
Bhagalpur    .......                2089.9                46.2 
Monghyr   ..........                1161.6                N.A. 
Purnea    ..........                2466.9                34.7 
Santal Pargana .....                1428.6                 9.1 
Ranchi     .........                1633.6                 6.5 
Palamau    .........                 711.4                12.0
Hazaribagh  ........                 827.1                 2.0 
Manbhum    .........                1921.8                11.8 
Singhbhum  .........                 832.3                 2.4

Bihar (excluding Monghyr district) 22693.0               372.4  
=====================================================================
and Saran districts, where the volume (if not the value) of agricultural production was the highest in Bihar excepting Champaran.

Let me now turn to the agricultural income per head of the agricultural population in each district of Bihar. For this purpose I have taken the population comprised in the agricultural classes as given in the 1951 Census of India.


====================================================================
               Population     Number of     Aggregate      Gross
                belonging   persons of the  value of      agricultural
  District        to the    agricultural    agricultural  income per
               agricultural classes per     produce       head of the
                classes     acre of net     (in lakhs of  agricultural
               (in lakhs)   area sown        rupees)      population
                                                               Rs.
                                            
    
Patna  .......  18.7          1.9            1372.7         73.3
Cays   .......  25.6          1.3            1426.2         55.8
Shahabad......  22.4          1.3            2239.5        100.1
Saran  .......  28.6          2.3            1375.0         48.0
Champaran.....  23.6          1.6            1322.0         56.0
Muzaffarpur...  31.9          2.1            1563.8         49.1
Darbhanga.....  33.6          2.1            1582.2         47.1
Bhagalpur.....  23.8          1.6            2089.9         87.7
Monghyr.......  23.5          1.4            1151.6         49.0
Purnea .......  22.3          1.4            2466.9        110.4
Santal Pargana  21.3          1.2            1428.5         67.0
Ranchi  ......  16.7          0.9            1533.6         92.0
Palamau ......   9.0          1.4             711.4         79.2
Hazaribagh....  16.5          1.6             827.1         50.1
Manbhum ......  17.6          1.7            1921.8        109.5
Singhbhum.....  11.1          1.7             832.3         75.1
   ----------- -----          ----         --------        -----
     Bihar     346.1          1.6          23,844.6         68.9
====================================================================== 
++Page 41. AGRICULTURAL INCOME AND ITS DISTRIBUTION IN BIHAR (1953)

The gross agricultural income per head of the agricultural classes varied from a maximum of Rs. 110 in Purnea and Manbhum districts, to Rs. 47 in Darbhanga district, with an average of Rs. 69 for the whole of Bihar. The high income districts are Purnea, Manbhum, Shahabad and Ranchi, and the low income districts are Drabhanga, Saran, Monghyr and Muzaffarpur. It will be noticed that the districts with high density of agricultural population per acre of cultivated land, such as Saran, Muzaffarpur and Darbhanga, have low incomes per head, while districts with low density of population, such as Ranchi, Santal Pargana and Shahabad have comparatively high incomes per head. This is, however, not invariably the case. Thus Gaya and Monghyr districts, with low tensity of population, have also low incomes per head of the agricultural population. An acre of sown area in Bihar supported 1.6 persons belonging to the agricultural classes and generated a gross income of Rs. 107.6 per year. The average size of a holding in Bihar is about 3.5 acres. An average agricultural family in Bihar consisted of about 5.5 persons who produced from an average holding a gross income of Rs. 377 per year, or a little more (say Rs. 430), since my calculation is based on 88 per cent of the sown area; and although agricultural production has been computed for the period 1945-46 to 1948-49, the population figures used relate to the year 1951.

I shall now turn to the distribution of the agricultural income among the different sections of the agricultural population in Bihar. The population census of 1951 classifies the agricultural population into four classes, viz., (1) cultivators of land wholly or mainly owned and their dependents, (2) cultivators of land wholly or mainly unowned and their dependents, (3) cultivating labourers and their dependents and (4) non-cultivating owners of land, agricultural rent receivers and their dependents. Taking the owners of land and rent receivers with their dependents first, we find that their number is given as 2.47 lakhs. The Bihar Land Revenue Administration Report gives the gross rental of estates and tenures in Bihar in 1948-49 as Rs. 1,883.7 lakhs. This gives an average income of Rs. 763 per head for this class. If an average family of this class consists of 5.5 persons, the gross family income would amount to Rs. 4,196 per year. I am somewhat doubtful about the validity of this figure, since although the census of 1951 gives a total population of 2.47 lakhs for this class, the Administration Report shows the recorded number of share-holders of estates and tenures to be 13.4 lakhs. The taking over of the zamindaris by the State would thus roughly increase the share of the State in the value of agricultural production from 0.6 per cent, which is the land revenue now received by Government' to 8 per cent, which is the gross rent now received by owners of estates and tenures, not taking into account the loss of agricultura1 income tax, etc. which would follow the assumption of zamindaris by the State. Coming to the class of cultivating labourers and

++Page 42 THE INDIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS (1953)

their dependents, the census figures so far published, do not shot separately the number of earners and dependents in this class. I have, therefore, taken the number of earners and earning dependents from the census of 1931, and increased their numbers in the same proportion in which the population of Bihar increased in the decades 1931-41 and 1941-51. I have further assumed that an earning dependent earned half as much as a principal earner. This gives a figure of 34.39 earners out of a total population of 87.95 lakhs belonging to this class, as given in the 1951 Census Report. Thus a family of 5.5 persons of this class contained 2.13 principal earners, which is somewhat too high a figure. The Agricultural Labour Enquiry conducted in 1949-50 in 80 villages of Bihar, gives an average daily wage rate of Rs. 1/2/9 per agricultural labourer. Taking Rs. 1/2/- as the daily wage for this class of labour, and assuming a working year of 150 days, we get a total income of Rs. 5802.9 lakhs for a total population of 87.95 lakhs, or an income of Rs. 66 per head of cultivating labourers and their dependents, or an income of Rs. 363 per family of 5.5 members. We are now left with the two remaining classes of cultivators of land, owned and unowned who together make up 255.69 lakh persons. Assuming a gross agricultural income of Rs. 271 crores (on the basis of 100 per cent sown area), and deducting from it the shares going to rent receivers and agricultural labourers as computed above, we are left with an income of Rs. 19,409.5 lakhs. This gives an income of Rs. 76 per head, or Rs. 418 per family of 5.5 persons of the cultivating classes. It is not possible to estimate separately the income of cultivators with owned land and cultivators of unowned land; for although an article entitled Land Tenures in India published by the Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, gives the figure of 203.6 lakh acres cultivated by occupancy ryots and 6.6 lakh acres cultivated by non-occupancy ryots, out of a gross sown area of 244.8 lakh acres, the 1951 census figures give the population of those who mainly cultivate owned land and of those who mainly cultivate unowned land. It is, however, certain that the income of non-occupancy tenants (bataidars) is less than that of occupancy ryots but higher than that of agricultural labourers. This study has shown that there is little mater- rial difference between the average incomes of cultivators of land, owned and unowned, and that of agricultural labourers, although there is considerable difference between the income of rent receivers and that of the other agricultural classes. With the taking over of the zamindaris by the State, the disparity of average incomes between the different sections of the agricultural population will have largely disappeared.

Although I have estimated the agricultural income at Rs. 271 crores (on the basis of 100 per cent sown area), the whole of it is not consumable income. A portion of it, usually reckoned at 10 per cent, is to be set apart for seeds and wastage. There are also taxes to be paid such land revenue, which amounted to Rs. 143.8 lakhs in 1948-49; local cess

++Page 43 AGRICULTURAL INCOME AND ITS DISTRIBUTION IN BIHAR (1953)

which amounted to Rs. 103.5 lakhs (excluding cess on mines, quarries, forests and railways) in 1948-49; chowkidari tax, which amounted to about Rs. 35 lakhs in 1948; agricultural income tax, which amounted to Rs. 32 lakhs in 1948-49 and irrigation charges for Government canals amounting to Rs. 38.4 lakhs in 1948-49. Thus from Rs. 271 crores, we have to deduct at least Rs. 30.5 crores, leaving a disposable income of Rs. 240.4 crores. Even this does not allow for depreciation of agricul tural implements, maintenance of cattle and interest charges on money borrowed for financing agricultural operations. It is of interest to note that according to the Eastern Economist, the estimated net value of agricultural output in what now constitutes the Indian Union was about Rs. 3,050 crores in 1946-47. Thus Bihar's share in the total net value of the agricultural output of the Indian Union amounted to 7 to 8 per cent.

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