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political importance as a ftrong natural barrier againft foreign invafion ; as yielding the neceflary article of falt for home confumption, it appears to have been the fource of oppreflion, whenever corrupt Fougedarsznd. a few Mogul on other merchants poflefled the whole trade; the country then fupplied irregularly, and the larger body of natives employed in this, as in every other branch of commerce, merely as their brokers, Shroffs, or agent Banians, with indefinite commiffions; they fettled at their difcretion the Sovereign's rights to the wafte, to the timber, and his allowances for maintenance of •works and pay of Molungees and boilers, who are kept conftantly in pay, and receive, befides an allowance o.f at leaft one rupee per menfem each while employed as ufual, in their fix dry months occupation, a farther conftant annual full fubfiftence, in free produce land, fet apart for their maintenance, under the head of Kharje Jumma of Chakran, or fervants, to be cultivated by themfelves; all thefe allowances became the benefit of individuals inftead of the ftate, though it is certain
that land fo pofleffed, affifted by labour & purchafed, is as much the civil right and faleable property of the Sovereign as the natural yearly growth of thofe lands termed Khafs and Comar, occurring every where daily throughout the country, which, becoming for a time untenanted, are cultivated by hire or contract on the fpecial account of the ftate. The virtue and political economy of Briti/h adminiftration in India ought to be acknowledged at leaft in the inftance of the refumption, with improve-' rnents of this hitherto mifapplied fource of public fupply under the head of Feroojfo Nemuck, or tales of manufactured or pwrified falt, at all periods charged with a duty fin the country, but only realifed in- the Exchequer fince the year 1780. The an»wal consumption of Bengal, efHrnated at 2o Lacks of Maunds, each of 80 pounds weight, is produced by the labour of 45,000 Molungees, who, with fuperiour agents, including all expences paid in money, were entitled to an allowance of 20 rupees, ufually advanced by contracting merchants, befides what was deemed equi* valent to 40 rupees more, furnifhed con
ftantty in fend, was returned to the ftatsr bj> the original ftandard! price of delivery alt Houghlyy fixt kttterly at 60 rnpees per 100 Maunds.
The benefit of the manrofa&ur-e was aftef waords enjoyed by a few Mogul monopolifts, whofe chief was denominated Fakhef ai ^"yarr rnoft exahed of merchants, and the prka enhanced! imi the different Markets of the Soubah, on a mecJiunn. tfy at tesft, 2 rupees the Maund; bat fence the arroexatibft of Bahar to Bengal, the hocne confumption has increafed 8 lacks of Maunds; for, before that event, Bahar was, and tiw greater part of upper Hindoftan is ftill, fiapplied with falt from the lake of Sambhur, m Ajmere: at'prefent not only Bahar, but fome export of falt to A/ham and Napaul, and other neighbouring inland ftates, has been opened, and may be extended.
The extra demand was at firft imported from the coaft of Coromandel, in what is called Madras or Bay falt, of bafer quality and value, being produced by the fimple operation of the fuu on fea water, introduced into (hallow pits, prepared near the fhore, but on the eftablifhment of the private Society in 1765; and fince again, on the inftitution of the prefent public plan, it was found expedient to prohibit this branch of Indian coafting trade; and now the whole quantity, in yearly demand being on a medium 28 lacks of Maunds, is manufactured in proportion of one third in the Cededt and two thirds in the Dewanny lands of Bengal, for the ufe probably of ten Millions of fouls there, and one fourth of that number In Bahar, impofing only a moderate charge for one of the comforts of life, at the utmoft calculation of fix and a half Annas, or 13 Pence each individual per annum, allowing the grofs fales, inclufive of all expences in ficca rupees, fifty four lacks and one half.
Serinjammy Charges of Manufafture and Salet.
1. Dadruy Molungian, original complete advance of wages now paid in money to about 60,000 falt manufacturers of all denominations, engaged for the dry feafon from November to May following, at the rate of about 40 rupees per 100 Maunds, being near 3 rupees each perfon per menfem for 6 months moderate labour - - - 11,20,000
2. Akherajat Aurung, expence of tranfportation to the place of fale, weigh men, erection of flare houfes, purchafe of utcnfil. requifite for carrying on the works, &c., with all contingent charges, on an average - - - 450,000
3. Ruffoom, or commiflion of fo