Copy URL

Dictionary term

Definition of "Iltizam"

A system of tax-farming introduced in Egypt in AD 1658. Under the iltizam, the ruler (wali) auctioned off whole districts, villages or even individual farms. The buyer (multazim) would become the government’s tax collector or representative. The multazim had to pay a tip of sorts, in advance, called the hulwan which was equal to a year’s sum of taxes due from the locality. The multazim was then obligated to pay the amount of his ’iltizam in three instalments a year. This amount was called the miri. In addition, the multazim had to pay special taxes called mudaf. The multazim, in turn, leased the land to peasants for four or five times the amount of the miri. The peasants were also obligated to pay several additional taxes such as the barrani and khushwf iyah. The barrani was a payment in honey, chicken and the like to support the multazim and his retinue, while the khushwfiyah was a levy to support irrigation projects, fix bridges and pay local guards. Around the eighteenth century, the state also imposed unofficial taxes such as raf ‘aly mazalim and al-magharim on both the multazim and the peasants. Consequently, the multazim was often forced to borrow at high rates of interest to meet his obligations. Eventually, Muhammad ‘Ali abolished the iltizam system in AD 1812

Get access to 300+ modules today and learn from expert trainers...