Privy Purse in India

Privy Purse in India

In India, the Privy Purse was a grant given since 1947 to the rulers of the princely states of the Indian sub-continent as part of their terms of accession to the new republics of India and Pakistan, respectively. The Privy Purse was abolished in India c. 1969.


In 1947, when the Republics of India and Pakistan were born, the many princely states of the sub-continentent interspersed the territories constituting "British India". These states, almost all allied to the throne of Britain, were recognised as independent to varying degrees. All the leaders of the time considered it desirable that such states, small or large, should integrate with the new-born nations for over-all development of the entire regions of the two countries.

The conclaves of the princely states agreed to merge with the two newly-independent states on terms which were in most cases known as the "Articles of Accession". These were negotiated by the states either individually or collectively. Some of the main features were that the then rulers' families were allowed to retain their titles and official residences and were guaranteed a grant in heredity by the new state concerned; measured, inter alia, on the extent, revenue and potential of the respective merging territories. This grant was the "Privy Purse".

The Princely States Receiving Privy Purses

In 1950, the states receiving the Privy Purses in India numbered about 400, in varying amounts.


The Privy Purses, and the official recognition of the titles, were abolished by the Government of India in 1971 [The 26th amendment of the Indian constitution [] ] . This was done by the Prime Minister of India Mrs Indira Gandhi to reduce the growing revenue deficit. The motion was originally brought before Parliament in 1969 and was defeated by one vote.

External links

* [ A site on Princely States, listing where known the historical privy purse in rupees]

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