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This period was alfo diftiuguifhed by the abolition of the old Board of Cuftoms, eftablimed in 17/3. A new code of revenue regulations was perfected in May 1781 by a new Board; Collectors were flationed at Calcutta, MoorJJjedabad, Patna, and Dacca; Government cuftoms were fixed at 30 ficca rupees per 100 maunds on beetle-nut and tobacco, and 2f per cent. on all other goods; Company's cuftoms at 4 per cent. on the Calcutta price of all foreign imports or goods from fea; 4 per cent. on the Aurung price of grofs inland imports, or goods from Aurungs; 2 per cent. on goods from the Aurung, fuch as piece goods, raw filk, and cotton yarn. The book of rates to be iflued annually of the fixed prices of imports for the enfuing year; Rowanahs to pals for one year, and not to be detained for examination above one day; double duty on goods which had no Rowanah: covenanted fervants were alfo ftationed at Nea Serai, Scrool, and Malda; vigilance was ftimulated by a commiffion of 15 per cent. on their grofs colle&ion. It is not intended to trace all the
changes of ftations, but to trace general
principles. At this period the firft regulation * was, that " no diftincYions be made in favour of particular perlbns, or goods, or places:" we fhall examine how far this fundamental rule applied to the Government duty and to the Company's duty. The firft exemption of Government duty was in favour of the Company's inveftment; the difputes between the Board of Trade and the Collector of Cuftoms were fettled by an order of.the Supreme Council that the goods of the Board of Trade mould pafs free of inland duty.
The Collectors find it difficult to colled the inland duties without additional Chokies; feveral are ordered in the Patna divifion, with an increafed eftabltfhment, an affiftant to the Collector, and fifty-nine native officers; in other divifions the Collectors fpread officers where they thought neceffary, and complaints of oppreflion or interference from all quarters crowd on the Commiffioners. The interference of Collectof s with the farmers of Bazars was fettled, by appointing the farmer to collect the Government duty on rice at the Bazars, and to account for it to the Commiffioners. The Collectors are ordered to call in all officers from unauthorifed Chokies, which, the Collector on the confines of Burdwan informed the Commiffioners, would in effect be the fame as to give up the duties.
* Regulations of the New Board, 1781.
The profits of the Collectors were curtailed as much as poffible without abandoning the fyftem; the regulation of Rowanaks, or permits, ftill marked the neceffity of diftinguiming the collection of Government duties from the collection of the Company's duties. The office of Deputy Cuftom Mafter was revived; the Commiffioners were allowed to appropriate 15 per cent, of thefe collections, including duty on the Company's inveftment, among their officers; but the Cuftom Matter was made independent of the Commiffioners in adjufting amounts, and in iffuing his Ro~ wanahs; this operated as a double charge on the traders; and the Government dues were eluded in both.
The import duty of raw materials for cordage was 4 per cent.; it was ftated to the Board that cordage manufactured became fubject to a duty of 9 per cent, befides the fees, and foreigners only paid 6f per cent.; the Board ordered that only one duty fhould be required: Surat cotton was under the fame predicament, but could not be included in the fame rule without ruining the collection, and thefe goods were either fmuggled into Calcutta or carried into foreign factories, from whence they were exported without duty: this occafioned new arrangements in 1782; two new Cuftom-houfe ftations were eftablifhed at Houghly Point and Keeble Canal to intercept goods and collecl: the duty; and the Cuftom-houfes at Scrooi and Malda were difcontinued, and the Government cuftoms to the northern and weftern parts of Hindojlan were thereby abandoned. A new participation of the commiffion on the col! lection was ordered at the fame time; the firft commiffioner, as Prefident, was allowed five mares, and four to each Commiffioner, and two fhares to the Secretary and Accomptant; the whole commiffion was thus
divided in fifteen fhares. The Directors, in January, 1783, difapproved of the arrangement, and recommended a general revifion. In April, 1785, they ordered the Board of Cuftoms to be aboJifhed, and the allowances of Collectors to be reduced to the ftandard of 1776, and the Government cuftoms to be managed, and the expences defrayed, from the allowance to which the revenue department was then limited. The foreign companies aflerted their privilege of Phirmaund, and exemption from the Company's cuftoms. The refined Britijh ftateftnan who fettled the treaty of Versailles introduced a new defcription of fubjects to the Britijh empire; that treaty guaranteed the freedom of trade to the French in Britijh India, and Mr. Macpherfon endeavoured by negociation to render the thirteenth article intelligible and practicable: the prohibition of importing coaft falt was maintained by conceding a partial exemption to the foreign fettlements of a limited quantity of falt. The other privileges of Phirmaunds were infifted on as very important, and it was propoled to reduce even thefe claims to a definite and conve