Delhi Sultunate : Administration

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The Sultanate was divided into provinces, each under a governor, generally termed muqti, who was responsible for the administration of the province and the collection of revenue from those peasants who paid their tax directly to the state. The appointment of the muqti was not permanent, and he was liable to be transferred to any part of the kingdom if the Sultan so wished. A fixed share of the revenue constituted his salary, the rest being remitted to the Sultan. From the share which he received, the muqti was required to maintain a quota of horse and foot soldiers, to be at the Sultan's disposal. The muqti was assisted by officials mainly concerned with the assessment and collection of revenue. In addition to the revenue raised by the muqtis, the Sultan was entitled to the income from the Khalsah or crown lands. These were reserved for the needs of the Sultan and were administered directly by the revenue departments.

The bulk of the land was still available to the Sultan to grant or assign to his officers as reward for services rendered or in lieu of cash salaries. This was known as the lqta or land-grant system, and was in many respects similar to the agrarian system prevalent in northern India in the pre-Sultanate period. The iqta could vary in extent from a village to a province, and there were many categories, the most common being those given in lieu of cash salaries. As in the previous system, land itself was not granted, but only the revenue from it. Continuance of the assignment depended on the will of the Sultan, since none of the iqtas could be treated as hereditary property.

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