Kauṭilya's vision of tax-system: A study on Arthaśāstra
The Arthaśāstra of Kauṭilya has a unique place in Sanskrit Literature and it is one of the world's oldest treatises on the economic administration of a state. Here Kauṭilya discusses politics, economics, law and many other subjects concerning state administration. Of these, order and justice, taxation, revenue and expenditure, foreign policy, defence and war becomes very important. Though the date has not been conclusively established, Kauṭilya or Chāṇakya wrote the Arthaśāstra not later than 150 A.D. Arthaśāstra, the most comprehensive treatise of state craft reveals that Kauṭilya is very genius and his skill is well reflected in this text.
The present paper intends to present the various tax systems which exist in Ancient India during the time of Kauṭilya. Like other modern economists, Kauṭilya also opine that Kośa or treasury is an essential constituent of the state. Treasury provides resources for all activities of the state and therefore, Kauṭilya’ s emphasis on efficient economic administration based on sound principles show the maturity of the Indian mind in remote past. According to Kauṭilya, treasury is more than the army. Because the later can be raised and maintained with the help of former, i.e. well - filled treasury. In the opinion of Kauṭilya, the best treasury was one which has gold, silver, precious stones and gold coins and which was large enough to enable the country to with stand even a long period of calamities when there would have been no income.