Economic Ideas of Kautilya

1527 Words Nov 11th, 2012 7 Pages
Economic ideas of Kautilya (Arthashastra)
Kautilya’s Arthashastra is the chief source of information. Kautilya’s name was Vishnu Gupta. He was a learned Brahmin. He is known by the name of Kautilya because he was an expert in diplomacy and political strategy. He was the chief minister of Chandra Gupta Maurya. He was responsible for getting Chandra Gupta the kingdom of Nand, after destroying its king. Kautilya has given vivid description of the administrative procedures, of the duties of kings, ministers and government officers, in his book. His Arthashastra is based on earlier treaties and is divided into fifteen chapters covering about 430 pages. He has acknowledged his debt to Shukracharya and Brahaspti. He has regarded
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The burden should be so distributed that the taxpayer is not weakened and no harm is done to the state. Since wealthy people are to contribute more to the state, they should be given a prominent place in the society. Kautilya’s ideas are more or less confined to the organization of central finance. He did not touch the problems of local finance. Kautilya included the following items in public expenditure;
 National defence;
 Public administration;
 Salaries of the ministers and expenditures on government departments;
 Expenditure on government storehouses, etc;
 Expenditure incurred on the maintenance of national storehouse and granaries;
 Expenditure incurred on the maintenance of armies;
 Expenditure incurred on the acquisition of valuable gems, stones and ornaments.
Whatever was left was deposited to the war chest and the treasury.

A large population was not a cause of worry to the ancient Indian thinkers. It was considered as source of strength. According to the Vedas, ten sons to a newly married couple were considered to be just. It was believed that population could not grow beyond a reasonable limit owing to the high death rate due to constant wars between small states and loss of life due to the inadequate medical facilities. Kautilya even recommended that the kind should establish colonies
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