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During the British Raj, Batta or Bhatta or Bat-ta was a military term, meaning a special allowance made to officers, soldiers, or other public servants in the field.[1] The term is probably derived from the Kanarese bhatta (rice in the husk).[2]

Batta was originally introduced as a payment to military officers of the East India Company, in addition to their ordinary salary, to provide them with money for field-equipment and other expenses when on the march.[3] By November 1842, a distinction was made according to which part of the country they were based. A lieutenant-colonel in barracks in southern India, for instance would receive half batta, 304 rupees (£30) a month. All cavalry and infantry officers stationed in northern India received full batta.

In Hindi, the term bhatta (भत्ता) is now used to refer to allowance made to military personnel or other public servants.[4]


  1. ^ G. S. Chhabra (2005). Advance Study in the History of Modern India (Volume-2: 1803-1920). Lotus Press. pp. 57–. ISBN 978-81-89093-07-5.
  2. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Batta" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 529.
  3. ^ The National Cyclopaedia of Useful Knowledge Vol II, (1847) London, Charles Knight, p.1003-4
  4. ^ Henry Yule; A. C. Burnell (2013). Hobson-Jobson: The Definitive Glossary of British India. OUP Oxford. p. 87. ISBN 978-0-19-164583-9.