(Last Updated on : 29/11/2010)
Superintendent of Liquor shall employ people with expert knowledge regarding the manufacture of liquor along with whom shall carry out liquor traffic not only within fort premises but also outside, in the country side as well. Kautilya in Chapter XXV of Book II in Arthashastra
makes full provision regarding use of liquor for necessity than misuse of it. In case of easy movement and sale of liquor, Superintendent of liquor shall be free to either centralise or decentralise the sale of liquor. A fine of 600 panas shall be levied on the offenders other than those who are manufacturers, purchasers and sellers in liquor traffic. Kautilya clearly prohibits the distribution of liquor in villages. As Kautilya`s major concern had been creating a society of virtue and principles, he makes full provision regarding the sale of liquor. Liquors will be sold only to those persons with sound character in a very limited and nominal amount so that they don`t get mislead from the path of virtue.
Superintendent of liquor is further responsible for fixing the rates of liquor along with the mode of payment. It makes full provisions where no foul means will be allowed to be used as a mode of production; also Kautilya
does not allow anyone to pay through sealed and unsealed articles or through the commodities given for repair, stolen articles and the like which the customers have acquired with foul means. Further the customers possessing gold and other articles not belonging to them shall be arrested and even those who are too extravagant and spend beyond their income shall be arrested. No fresh liquor without the bad liquor will be sold below the price and the bad liquor shall be given to the slaves and the workers.
Superintendent of liquor will then make provisions for the comfort of the customers and at the same time advises the merchants to observe the behaviour of the customers who shall be provided with beds and other items of comfort in case they get exhausted.
Superintendent of liquor shall make different groups for a variety of liquors as the liquors can be used for both intoxication as well as medicinal purpose the physicians need to concentrate and learn to derive medicines out of liquor which shall be further utilised for medicines. Arthashastra provides the physicians with detailed prescriptions for the manufacturing of medicines which can be combined with flower extracts and other Ayurvedic plants of medicinal importance.
Superintendent of liquor along with other functions shall be responsible for levying taxes on the manufactured liquor. The Superintendent shall allow some people on few occasions to manufacture white liquor, arishta for the purpose of diseases, and other kind of liquors; on the occasions of festivals, fairs and pilgrimage the manufacture of liquor shall be allowed for four days on which the Superintendent shall be free to impose daily fines. Women and children shall be allowed to collect only two types of liquor namely sura and kinva and ferment; those other than the king who possess liquor shall be compelled to pay five percent toll as fine. Having ascertained the day`s sale of the above kinds of liquor, the difference of royal and public measures (manavyaji), and the excessive amount of sale proceeds realised thereby, the superintendent shall fix the amount of compensation (vaidharana) due to the king (from local or foreign merchants for entailing loss on the king`s liquor traffic) and shall always adopt best course.
Thus Superintendent of Liquor shall have one of the most extensive responsibilities to assess, collect and reassess the amount of compensation which the king benefits after the complete day`s sale. His job is important as along with the production he has to maintain the level of moral stability as well.