(Last Updated on : 12-04-2014)
Revenue System of Shivaji was quite an efficient one. Currency, trade tax and land revenue were the primary sources of the fixed income of Shivaji. Shivaji collected the chauth and sardeshmukhi from the territory which was either under his enemies or under his own influence. The chauth was one fourth part of the income of a particular territory while the sardeshmukhi was one tenth. Shivaji collected these taxes simply by force of his arms. These constituted of the primary sources of income of Shivaji and helped in the extension of the power and territory of the Marathas.
The revenue system of Shivaji was Ryotwari in which the state had direct contact with peasants. Shivaji mostly avoided the system of assigning Jagirs to his officers and whenever he assigned jagirs to them, the right of collecting the revenue was kept with the officials. He adopted the revenue on the basis of which, cultivators were asked to pay thirty three per cent of their produce to the state. Afterwards Shivaji abolished nearly forty local taxes. He encouraged people of other castes to settle down as farmers in his kingdom, gave them lands and did not charge revenue from them till their lands were in a position to yield sufficient produce. Shivaji collected revenue in cash and kind both.
The kingdom of Shivaji was divided into sixteen parts with the purpose of collecting the revenue. These sixteen parts were further divided into tarfs and each tarf was further subdivided into mauzs. The revenue officer of a province was called the subedar while the officer in a tarf was called the karkun. The revenue administration of Shivaji remained successful, and the life style of the population prospered.
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