CHAPTER XXXV – THE DUTY OF REVENUE-COLLECTORS
1HAVING divided the kingdom (janapada) into four districts, and having also subdivided the villages (gráma) as of first, middle and lowest rank, he shall bring them under one or another of the following heads:—Villages that are exempted from taxation (pariháraka); those that supply soldiers (áyudhíya); those that pay their taxes in the form of grains, cattle, gold (hiranya), or raw material (kupya); and those that supply free labour (vishti), and dairy produce in lieu of taxes (karapratikara).
2It is the duty of Gopa, village accountant, to attend to the accounts of five or ten villages as ordered by the Collector-General.
3By setting up boundaries to villages, by numbering plots of grounds as cultivated, uncultivated, plains, wet lands, gardens, vegetable gardens, fences (váta), forests, altars, temples of gods, irrigation works, cremation grounds, feeding houses (sattra), places where water is freely supplied to travellers (prapá), places of pilgrimage, pasture grounds and roads, and thereby fixing the boundaries of various villages, of fields, of forests, and of roads, he shall register gifts, sales, charities, and remission of taxes regarding fields.
4Also having numbered the houses as taxpaying or non-taxpaying, he shall not only register the total number of the inhabitants of all the four castes in each village, but also keep an account of the exact number of cultivators, cow-herds, merchants, artizans, labourers, slaves, and biped and quadruped animals, fixing at the same time the amount of gold, free labour, toll, and fines that can be collected from it (each house).
5He shall also keep an account of the number of young and old men that reside in each house, their history (charitra), occupation (ájíva), income (áya), and expenditure (vyaya).
6Likewise Sthánika, district officer, shall attend to the accounts of one quarter of the kingdom.
7In those places which are under the jurisdiction of Gopa and Sthánika, commissioners (prodeshtárah) specially deputed by the Collector-general shall not only inspect the work done and the means employed by the village and district officers, but also collect the special religious tax known as bali (balipragraham kuryuh).
8Spies under the disguise of householders (grihapatika, cultivators) who shall be deputed by the collector-general for espionage shall ascertain the validity of the accounts (of the village and district officers) regarding the fields, houses and families of each village—the area and output of produce regarding fields, right of ownership and remission of taxes with regard to houses, and the caste and profession regarding families.
9They shall also ascertain the total number of men and beasts (janghágra) as well as the amount of income and expenditure of each family.
10They shall also find out the causes of emigration and immigration of persons of migratory habit, the arrival and departure of men and women of condemnable (anarthya) character, as well as the movements of (foreign) spies.
11Likewise spies under the guise of merchants shall ascertain the quantity and price of the royal merchandise such as minerals, or products of gardens, forests, and fields or manufactured articles.
12As regards foreign merchandise of superior or inferior quality arriving thither by land or by water, they shall ascertain the amount of toll, road-cess, conveyance-cess, military cess, ferry-fare, and one-sixth portion (paid or payable by the merchants), the charges incurred by them for their own subsistence, and for the accommodation of their merchandise in warehouse (panyágára).
13Similarly spies under the guise of ascetics shall, as ordered by the Collector-general, gather information as to the proceedings, honest or dishonest, of cultivators, cow-herds, merchants, and heads of Government departments.
14In places where altars are situated or where four roads meet, in ancient ruins, in the vicinity of tanks, rivers, bathing places, in places of pilgrimage and hermitage, and in desert tracts, mountains, and thick grown forests, spies under the guise of old and notorious thieves with their student bands shall ascertain the causes of arrival and departure, and halt of thieves, enemies, and persons of undue bravery.
15The Collector-general shall thus energetically attend to the affairs of the kingdom. Also his subordinates constituting his various establishments of espionage shall along with their colleagues and followers attend to their duties likewise.