Who Introduced the Iqta System?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Shamsa ud-din Iltutmish of the Delhi Sultanate introduced the Iqta system in India. The concepts of revenue creation and collection proposed by Mohammad Ghori served as his inspiration. Prior to Iltutmish introducing Iqta into India, the technique was already widely used in Persia and the Middle East.

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Iqta System in India

The Iqta system was primarily used to collect land taxes. This collection was done by Muqtis or Iqtedars. The subjects had no other obligation to them other than to use them to collect taxes. The area of the empire was divided into various little and large portions, or “Iqta,” by the Iqta System. The troops, nobility, and officials of the king were given these iqtas.

Iqtas were initially based on pay. But as the sultanate developed, it turned into a hereditary privilege. Under Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s rule, this was observed. Iqta literally translates to land. The revenue collection of these iqtas was given to individuals under strict and specific conditions. The iqtedars were the king’s most trusted men.

  • The large iqtas were headed by provincial governors. These governors had a few responsibilities within the administration as well.
  • The small iqtas were headed by small troop leaders, and they had no work within the administration. They validated all the income obtained from farmers. They were called Khuts and Muqaddams.

The class of Khuts and Muqaddams gradually started to live a life of luxury and abused the freedom granted to them for their responsibilities. To stop this exploitation, Alauddin Khilji abolished the iqta system and placed them under centralized control.

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