Lord Curzon: Economic Reforms

In the previous post we have read about the administrative reforms of Lord Curzon. Now, we can say that all the reforms of Lord Curzon had some intetional motive to help British Empire in India. So, he was a master mind, who simultaneously following the policy of appeasement and policy of exploitation.

In this post, we shall read about the Economic Reforms during the period of Lord Curzon.

Economic Reforms

Agricultural Reforms

Land Resolution Act 1900

By the Land Resolution Act of 1900, Lord Curzon ended sunset law of 1794. So, he asked revenue officers to be liberal with the farmers. In this way, he protected farmers from being exploited by the state.

Punjab Land Alienation Act 1902

The biggest enemy of farmers was money-lender. During British period due to the backing of the government, these money lenders took larger interest rated from the farmers. So, this turned farmers into the landless community.

Under Punjab Land Alienation act, it was said that non-agriculturist will not be allowed to take away the land of agriculturists. So, in this way, Lord Curzon protected farmers from money lenders.

Research and Development Department

Lord Curzon was the first Viceroy of India, who established the research and development department for agriculture. These departments called as Pusa Institute situated in Bihar.

Co-operative Banks

He was the first Viceroy, who established co-operative banks in India to provide loans to the farmers at easiest interest rates.

Moncrieff Commission

To review the condition of irrigation in India, Curzon appointed the Moncrieff Commision. So, after the recommendations of Commission old canals were repaired while new canals were constructed. Example,

  • Bari (Beas and Ravi rivers) Doab Canal in Punjab.

Though all these agricultural economic reforms seem to be good. But there was also some hidden agenda of Lord Curzon for these reforms.

Economic Reforms: Hidden v/s Declared Agenda
Economic Reforms: Hidden v/s Declared Agenda

Railway Reforms

For Railway reforms, Curzon invited Thomas Robertson, the Railway expert from Britain. The objective was to review the condition of Railway network in India. Due to the recommendation of Thomas Robertson largest number of Railway lines laid down in the India during the period of Lord Curzon.

Railway Reforms: Hidden v/s Declared Agenda
Railway Reforms: Hidden v/s Declared Agenda

Gold Standard

The most important economic reform of the Curzon was putting India on Gold Standard. He was the first Viceroy of India who placed India on Gold Standard. Curzon introduced modern currency system in India. So, by keeping India on Gold Standard wealth of nation was required to be declared.

Actually, this was against the interest of Britishers. So, Lord Curzon understood his mistake of doing this. Finally, he ended Gold Standard and started Gold exchange plan. Under this plan, Gold became the payment for the imports. So, this maintained the drain of the wealth of Indian currency.

This was all about the economic reforms of Lord Curzon. In the next coming post, we shall discuss the Foreign Policy of Lord Curzon. Soon, in the subsequent post, we shall discuss Partition of Bengal and its impacts.

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