Kautilya’s Arthashastra


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Kautilya, also known as Chanakya, is India’s most illustrious political economist of all time. He regarded economic activity as the driving force behind the functioning of any political dispensation. In fact, he went to the extent of saying that revenue should take priority over the army because sustaining the army was possible out of a well-managed revenue system.

Kautilya advocated limiting the taxation power of the State, having low rates of taxation, maintaining a gradual increase in taxation and most importantly devising a tax structure that ensured compliance. He strongly encouraged foreign trade, basing it on the premise that for a successful trade contract to be established, it had to be beneficial to all. He emphasised State control and investment in land, water and mining.

Kautilya was a true statesman who bridged the gap between experience and vision. For Kautilya, good governance was paramount. He suggested built-in checks and balances in systems and procedures for the containment of malpractices. Many postulates of Kautilya’s philosophy of political economy are applicable to contemporary times.

  • Genre Economics
  • Language English
  • Format Paperback
  • Page Count 216 pages
  • Release Date 28-Dec-2009
  • ISBN 13 978-81-8495-029-8

“Kautilya’s Arthashastra, as a treatise on the practice of management, economics and public finance, and trade and commerce, continues to be of relevance today, even after a lapse of hundreds of years, and the greatness of his thoughts lies in their continued applicability to the present economic order which is known to be dynamic and ever changing.”

Shri Jayantrao PatilMinister for Home  Affairs, Govt. of Maharashtra

“The relevance of Arthashastra to contemporary India remains unimpaired because, inter alia, it is a secular text that deals with the governance safeguard without presenting any overt philosophy or religion.”

Shri Srichand P. Hinduja,Chairman, Hinduj Foundation

“Written in 300 BC, Kautily’s Arthashastra is the oldest and one of the most exhaustive treatises on governance, administration and economics.”

Shri Arindam Chaudhuri, DeanCenter for Advanced Studies and Economic Research, Indian Institute of Planning and Management

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