It was a unique type of land distribution and administrative system evolved during the Delh Sultanate. Under the system, the whole empire was divided into several large and small tracts of land, called the iqtas, which were assigned to nobles, officers and soldiers for the purpose of administration and revenue collection.
The iqtas were transferable, i.e., the holders of iqtas-iqtadars-were transferred from one region to another every three to four years. It means that the grant of iqta did not imply a right to the land. It was just an administrative unit.
The iqtas could be big (whole province) or small. The assignees of bigger iqtas-had dual obligation tax collection, and administration. They collected revenue from their iqta, defrayed their own expenses, paid the troops maintained by them and sent the bawazil (surplus) to the Centre.
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