Notes on the characteristic features of the Mauryan economy


Under the Mauryas there was total state intervention in the economic functions. This has been referred to in Kautilya’s Arthasastra.

First, in the land owned by the king the cultivation was supervised by the government officials directly.

Second, people were sometimes shifted from the populated area to the new settlements for reclamation of the fallow lands. Thus new settlement developed.


Third, irrigation system was introduced for the progress of agriculture.

Fourth, various industries including, mining, etc. were state-run. It must, however, be pointed out that there was state control only over the important industries.

Fifth, development of various industries points to the progress of trade and commerce.

Sixth, the state controlled the internal trade. During the Maurya rule the external trade was not at all important.

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