Welfare and Production Efficiency: Two Objectives of Land Reform in Pakistan

Publication Year : 1962

Among the policy measures used by governments of less developed countries in their effort to promote economic development, land reform occupies a place of great importance. In West Pakistan, the area under discussion in this paper, land and tenancy reform laws aimed at changing the existing agrarian structure have been enacted periodically before as well as after partition by the governments of the formerly individual provinces (Punjab, NWFP, Sind)1. In January 1959, shortly after the present government came to power, a land reform law covering the entire province of West Pakistan was passed. It introduced a laige number of reform measures designed to bring about a more equitable distribution of land ownership rights as well as to provide the basis for a gradual increase in the productive capacity of the agricultural sector through appropriate tenancy reforms2. No systematic studies are available which show to what extent and how successfully the earlier laws have been implemented. As regards the law presently in force it might still be too early to try to assess the impact on agricultural production or to determine the number of rural people and agricultural holdings which have been actually affected. Nevertheless, it seems worthwhile to study some of the data on size of holdings and land fragmenta-

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