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Economy of Maurya Empire Indian History

Filed under: History Maurya Empire on 2021-07-01 14:28:50
# Largely, the population was agriculturists and lived in villages. The state helped people to bring new areas under cultivation by cleaning the forest. But certain types of forests were protected by law.

# A number of crops like rice, coarse grains (kodrava), sesame, pepper, and saffron, pulses, wheat, linseed, mustard, vegetable and fruits of various kinds and sugarcane were grown.

# The state also owned agricultural farms, cattle farms, dairy farms, etc.

# Water reservoirs and dams were built by the state for irrigation. Steps were taken to distribute and measure this water for irrigation.

# The Mauryan enforced the rules and regulations in respect of agriculture, industry, commerce, animal husbandry, etc.

# Special measures were deduced for the promotion of the economy gave great impetus to economic development during this period.

# Megasthenese mentioned about the extraordinary skill of craftsmen.

# Junagarh inscription of Rudradaman mentions that Pushyagupta (Chandragupta's governors) was responsible for building a dam on Sudarshana Lake near Girnar in Kathiawad.

# Skandagupta’s inscription of the later period mentioned that the dam (on Sudarshana Lake) was repaired during his reign, almost 800 years after its construction.

# They had foreign trade with the western countries. The main items of trade were indigo, various medicinal substances, cotton, and silk. The foreign trade was carried on by the land as well as by the sea.

# Special arrangements were made for facilitation of the trade like security of trade-routes, provisions of warehouses, go-downs, and other means of transport.

# The trade was regulated by the state and the trader had to get a license to trade.

# The state also had the machinery to control and regulate the weights and measures.

# The land tax was one-fourth to one-sixth of the produce. The tax was also levied on all the manufactured goods.

# The toll tax was levied on all items, which were brought for sale in the market.

# Strabo mentions that craftsmen, herdsmen, traders, and farmers, all paid taxes. Those who could not pay the tax in cash or kind were to contribute their dues in the form of labor.

# Revenue was that main subject of Arthashashtra. It describes revenue at great length.

# Sources of revenue were increased from the income of mines, forests, pasture lands, trade, forts, etc.

# The income from the king's own land or estate was known as ‘sita.’

# Brahmans, children, and handicapped people were exempted from paying the taxes.

# Tax evasion was considered a very serious crime and offenders were severely punished.

# The artisans and craftsmen were given special protection by the state and offences against them were severely punished.

# The main industries during this period were textile, mining and metallurgy, ship-building, jewelry making, metal working, pot making, etc.

# The industries were organized in various guilds. Jesthaka was the chief of a guild.

# The guilds were powerful institutions. It gave craftsmen great support and protection.

# The guilds settled the disputes of their members. A few guilds issued their own coins.

# The Sanchi Stupa inscription mentions that one of the carved gateways was donated by the guilds of ivory workers.

# Similarly, the Nasik cave inscription mentions that two weaver's guilds gave permanent endowments for the maintenance of a temple.

# The guilds also made donations to educational institutions and learned Brahmans.
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