Superintendent of Weights and Measures will then begin the manufacturing and division of the weights and measures as has been specified in Arthashastra. The weights and measures of Maurya Empire was based on the division of angulas and its metallic strength which will decide the amount of weight each barter consist of and the prices fixed accordingly. For this reason it demarcates the weight with the division of angulas and palas. The weighing system as mentioned in Arthashastra includes that a balance called samavratta, with its lever 72 angulas lone and weighing 53 palas in its metallic mass, shall also be made. A scale-pan of 5 palas in the weight of its metallic mass being attached to its edge, the horizontal position of the lever (sama-karana) when weighing a karsha shall be marked (on that part of the lever where, held by a thread, it stands horizontal). To the left of that mark, symbols such as 1 pala, 12, 15 and 20 palas shall be marked. After that, each place of tens up to 100 shall be marked. In the place of Akshas, the sign of Nand shall be marked.
Likewise a balance called parimani, of twice as much metallic mass as that of samavratta and 96 angulas in length shall be made. On its lever, marks such as 20, 50 and 100 above its initial weight of 100 shall be carved.
20 tulas = 1 bhara
10 dharanas = 1 pala
100 such palas = 1 ayamani (measure of royal income).
Superintendent of Weights and Measures then mentions that the state shall have separate balances for public, servants and harems as public balance, servant's balances and harem balances. The palas of each of the above successively falls short of the same in ayamani by half a dharana. The metallic mass of the levers of each of the above successively decreases in weight by two ordinary palas and in length by six angulas. Besides excepting flesh, metals, salt and precious stones, an excess of five palas (prayama) of all other commodities (shall be given of the king) when they are weighed in the two first- named balances.
Superintendent of Weights and Measures while organising the weights and measures according to a table, shall also have the freedom to charge 4 mashas on stamping weights and measures. A fine of 27 1/4 panas shall be imposed for using unstamped weights and measures. Further the traders shall pay one kankani to the superintendent towards the charge of stamping the weights and measures. Those who trade on butter and oil product shall pay a compensation of 1/32 part or more as compensation of for the decrease in the quantity of ghee owning to its liquid conditions. While selling liquid traders shall have to pay 1/50th part as compensation for the dimunition of quantity, owning to its overflow or adhesion to the measuring can.
Thus, Superintendent for weights and measures is primarily responsible for the manufacturing, putting right measures for right weights and collection of compensation in case of any loss or unavailability. The job of a superintendent of weights and measures goes with the job of superintendent of commerce who shall need these weights and measures as manufactured by the superintendent of weights and measures.
(Last Updated on : 27-11-2010)
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