1902 Encyclopedia > Afghanistan > Afghanistan - Revenues

(Part 17)

(17) Afghanistan - Revenues

REVENUES. – The revenues of Dost Mahommed Khan were estimated in 1857 at 4,000,000 rupees, or about £400,000. this included Afghan Turkestan, but not Herat, which he did not hold. The Herat revenue was estimated some years before (probably too low) at £80,000. In the later years of Dost Mahommed the net revenue is stated to have amounted to £710,000, of which the army cost £430,000. Information on this subject is very imperfect, and not always consistent. There seems to be a tax on the produce of the soil, both in kind and in money, and a special tax on garden ground. A horse-tax of about 5 rupees is paid by all who are not Pathans. The latter pay a much lighter tax under another name; and the Hindus pay the separate poll-tax (jazeya). Taxes are paid on horses, &c., kept, and on the sale of animals in the public market.

The aggregate of taxation is not great, but the smallest exaction seems a tyrannical violence to an Afghan. Nor does payment guarantee the cultivator from further squeezing. In many parts of the country collections are only made spasmodically by military force. The people are let alone for years, till need and opportunity arise, when a force is marched in, and arrears extorted.

Customs dues at Kabul and Kandahar only 2 1/2 per cent, nominally, but this is increased a good deal by exactions. There is a considerable tax on horses exported for sale, and a toll on beasts of burden exporting merchandise, from 6 rupees on a loaded camel to 1 rupee on a donkey.

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