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Karniaka – Village Accountant Of Ancient India

Karniaka, village accountant of ancient India, was also known as Sanbhoga. He wielded influence by maintaining the records of revenue, dues and collections. Every village had one accountant who was responsible for collecting land revenue and maintaining land records. It was hereditary feature. All communities, due to the centralization of records and revenue, respected him.

The village accountant held a very prominent position, which was next only to the sarpanch (head of the village). The accountant was consulted on every important matter to arrive at a decision. Since the accountant was educated, everyone looked forward for his suggestions, which carried great weight.

The karniaka used to perform a wide range of functions right from the times of Indian rulers of historic times. He was picked in charge of the treasury. He was asked to keep a record of the expenses and income. He had to maintain land records, determine the taxes to be collected from various segments of the society and also impose penalties on defaulters for delayed payment of tax. He had to submit periodical reports about various matters to the sarpanch. The karniaka would bring to the notice of the sarpanch all significant matters, and any changes suggested would be incorporated.