Saturday, December 15, 2012

15-volume series on the history of Indian business

Gurcharan Das talks about a 15-volume series being published by Penguin on the history of Indian business

In this interview with Mint Mr Das says:

  • I raise a question on the notion of property. What was it? In many countries the king owned everything. But in India, the Arthashastra says very clearly to the king, “You don’t own the kingdom. You have a bhaga and it’s shath-bhaga (one sixth).” In other words, that is the moral, the right tax rate, for a kingdom. And so, whenever kingdoms had higher tax rates, such as in the Mughal empire, when the tax rates went up to 40% and 50%... they collapsed. That’s a lesson that India pretty much forgot for 40-50 years. Our tax rates during Indira Gandhi’s time had gone to 97.5%

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