Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



The 1972 Land Reforms in Pakistan and their Economic Implications: A Preliminary Analysis

Land reforms have often been viewed as a significant variable in the economic development of pre-industrial societies [10], The economic rationale for reform is frequently given as an increase in agricultural output through improvements in resource use efficiency and cultivator incentives. But other goals are typically posited as well. An official publication of the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Rural Development of Pakistan stated that the 1972 reforms “affect the life and fortunes of the common man much more significantly than any other measure contemplated by the government.” Among the specific objectives mentioned for the reforms were “breaking up iniquitous concentration of landed wealth, reducing income disparities, increasing production, and re-ordering the tenant landlord relationship on the basis of mutual respect and trust” as well as “increasing employment” and generally providing for the “socio-economic uplift of rural masses” [31, pp.5-6]. Our study is an evaluation of the 1972 measures in the context of these objectives.

M.Ghaffar Chaudhry, Ronald Herring

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