(Last Updated on : 25-11-2010)
Superintendent of Treasury, an eminent government officer, was responsible for collection, selection and distribution of genuine gems which shall be included in the royal treasury. Chapter XI of Book II in Arthashastra
provides a wide description of the huge variety of gems. From these gems the original pieces are to be selected. The superintendent of treasury is vested with the responsibility of selecting the proper source of earning for the royal treasury which includes investment on gems and carrying out mining operations as well as manufacturing products.
Superintendent of treasury had been empowered to assess the royal treasury and fill it with all the commodities produced from mineral ore as well as with precious stones and genuine gems which are the state assets. Under him other superintendent of mines, mint and ocean mines function along with the experts of gems. The job of superintendent of treasury as included in Arthashastra includes selection of gems, selection of minerals of various types, selection of ores with heavy metals, selection of ocean minerals as well as commodities produced by these ores like silver coins, copper coins etc.
Superintendent of treasury along with this is also responsible for carrying out the administration of these units as he shall grant punishments to all those who are found guilty in extracting more and paying less. Arthashastra keeps the provision for the superintendent as he may punish those men in mines who steal mine products and not gems as they will be fined with eight times of their value. Any person who steals the mine products or works without license will be caught and bound with chains and will be made to work.
Superintendent of treasury will then collect revenue from all these manufactured products which are extracted from various minerals besides this Arthashastra includes ten more items for collection of revenue. Revenue can be collected from the items like (1) value of the output (mulya), (2) the share of the output (vibhaga), (3) the premium of five percent (vyaji), (4) the testing charge of coins (parigha), (5) fine previously announced (atyaya), (6) toll (sulka), (7) compensation for loss entailed on the king's commerce (vaidharana), (8) fines to be determined in proportion to the gravity of crimes (danda), (9) coinage (rupa) and (10) the premium of eight percent (rupika).
Thus, the role of superintendent of treasury is supervise the working of all other supervisors who shall look at the working of the mines , selection and collection of gems, manufacturing of coins , and extraction of ocean minerals. The superintendents of mines, mint, ocean minerals etc will be directly answering him for whatever they collect. Overall he shall be responsible to make the treasury of mineral ores and precious stones.