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  Historical Background

     The origin of Land & Land Reforms Department is to be traced back to the setting of Board of Revenue by British Rulers for consolidating and stabilizing revenue collection establishment and machinery in accordance with ‘permanent settlement’ enacted under Regulation I of 1973 in order to maximize revenue collection from land for fulfilling British Colonial interest. With the independence of India stress was quite logically shifted from the concept of revenue administration to welfare administration. Inconformity with the change of concept, the Department which was before independence named as Land & Land Revenue Department, after passing quite a long period as Department of Utilization & Reforms and Land & Land Revenue, ultimately became Land & Land Reforms Department reflecting the priorities of the State.

     Land reform is a concept of independent India. The planners of free India was conscious about the immediate need to relieve the farmers toiling under the yoke of some sort of zamindars; with these were the crying need of ensuring food security and supply of agricultural items for meeting up demands of the newly set up agri-based industries in free India. Enhancing agricultural production for creating surplus to be invested in industry was too of great importance. Administering of social justice demanded that land must not be in the hands of a few and should be distributed judiciously amongst the landless.

     As a first step towards land reforms, Estate Acquisition Act was enacted in 1953 abolishing zamindari system. Then it was necessary to consider the matter of ceiling on holdings, distribute vested land amongst the landless, to create economic holdings, reducing rents, stopping routing out of tenants and bargadars, giving ownership right to tenants, stopping hidden tenancy and some other anomalous system. To address this burning issues West Bengal Government in 1955 enacted Land Reforms Act.
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