Proceedings of the Board of Revenue-Grain, 3rd January-30th December,1800
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The early records preserved in the West Bengal State Archive pertains to the administration of the land revenue system by the East India Company. The Company attained the revenue rights of the Province through the Grant of Diwani in 1765. The records in the repositories of the Archive date back to the Select Committee Records in 1768. In the early the revenue administration was managed by various intermediary agencies, these committees reflect the early experiments and confusion of the East India Company over revenue collection.
The Court of Directors decided to reconsider the revenue administration in 1785. On this line the Court wrote in their General Letter, dated 21st September, 1785, that, there would be a Board of Revenue comprising of one of Junior Member of Council, and four other senior servants of the Company. The department would manage the whole administration of settlement, collection and receipt of every branch of the Revenue department together. The Board of Revenue at the Fort William operated from 1786 to 1822. The proceedings relating to Grain was kept distinct from the main series. Oct 1794 to Oct 1803.
In reply to the Boards order communicated to me in your letter of the 1st Ultimo regarding the Comparative advantage of erecting store or mud golah in the province of Beneras, I have the pleasures to submit the following statement made out from the most accurate information, that I have been enabled to acquire from the Collector and others on this subject Viz.
There are of Granaries in the Provinces of Benaras, under my Inspection composed of mud, Tiles [...] capable of containing about 280000 Maunds Grain, which at 1 per Mds is 280000 Rupees.
The computed wastage by moisture on the above quantity of Grain stored in mud Golah is 5 per cent per annum or for 3 years supposing it to be kept for that period.--------- is 42000(Maunds)…or 42,000Rs
The computed wastage on the above quantity of grain laid up in stone Granaries for years is 3 per cent per annum or 25200(Maunds) or 25200Rs.
Probable saving to Government in 3years by storing the above quantity of grain in stone instead of mud golahs is 16800(Maunds) or 16800Rs.
For the Boards information regarding the Ground on which calculations are made out I have to state that the average price of the Grain laid up in the Province is one [Page 49] rupee per maund the amount loss by wastage on the old stores which were found unnecessary to be sold at the end of three years, was about 5 per cent per annum or 15 per cent on the quantity, disposed of at the end of that period and as the Collector reports that the Grain suffers considerable injury from the dampness of mud walls, and from vermin, and as dampness and moisture generates innumerable multitudes of insects in grain, I am led to believe that by adopting the mode of storing the grain stone instead of mud granaries that the loss of government, in 3 years would not be so much by at least 40 per cent.
Should your board be of opinion that the reasons here addressed [Page 50] are well founded it will follow of course that Pucka Granaries built in Bengal must still be a greater saving to Government, as Bengal is a climate containing greater degree of moisture and for a longer July and August, [...] my report dated 23rd January 1797.
Agreed that a copy of the Board correspondence with the Inspector regarding the suggestion for erecting stone Golahs, for the reception of the public stores at [Page 51] Beneras be forwarded to the accomptant with directions to furnish them with a statement showing the comparative advantage at the expiration of 15 years, of erecting stone or mud golahs, for the reception of the prescribed stock of 280000 Maunds of Grain, applying to the inspector for any further information which he may require to render the account completely accurate.
Agreed that the above resolution be communicated to the Inspector and that he also be informed that the Board desire that in communicating with their accomptant on the subject of it will consider whether it would not be more advantageous to erect Golahs of large dimensions than those suggested by the Collector of Benaras.