Who Introduced the Iqta System?

By Devyani Singh|Updated : July 29th, 2022

Shamsa ud-din Iltutmish of the Delhi Sultanate introduced the Iqta system in India. He found his inspiration in Mohammad Ghori’s ideas on revenue generation and collection. 

Iqta was already a practice that was prevalent in the regions of Persia and the Middle East before it was implemented in India by Iltutmish. Iqta system was mainly practised for land revenue collection. Muqtis or Iqtedars did this collection. Their function was simply to collect the taxes, and the subjects were not liable to them in any other way. 

Who Introduced the Iqta System in India?

The Iqta System divided the empire’s land into numerous large and small parts called ‘Iqta’. These iqtas were assigned to the king’s soldiers, nobles and officers. Initially, iqtas were dependent on the salary. However, as the sultanate progressed, it became a hereditary right. This was observed under Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s rule. 

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.

Over a period of time, the class of Khuts and Muqaddams began to enjoy a life of luxury and exploited the liberty that was provided to them for their duties. Alauddin Khilji ended the iqta system to end this exploitation and brought them under the central governance.

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FAQs about the Iqta System

  • Iltutmish in India brought the Iqta system. 

  • Amir Khusarau, for the first time, called Khuts 'Zamindars'.

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