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Panyadhyaksha In Ancient India

Panya means all types of goods and services for which payment is made. Panyadhyaksha was a post of the chief executive under the state administration in ancient India. He looked after transactions, rules, revenues related to sales, import and export, production and distribution of all types of goods and services, by road, sea and other paths in the state.

Panyadhyaksha should be knowledgeable about the need of different types of goods and services, the quality and the rates, trading and manufacturing related issues. He should manage trade and the commercial environment in such a way that traders do not become profiteers, that customers are not cheated in regard to quality and quantity, that the goods and services are made available in time and there is no administrative corruption in respect to taxes and duties.

The entire activity of Panyadhyaksha should be so discharged as to ensure the welfare of the society. He should promulgate such rules which would promote the prompt payment of sulka (taxes and duties.) Severe punishment should be awarded to tax-evaders, profiteers, hoarders and cheaters; and the name should be widely publicized. Daily accounts of the transactions related to the above should be properly maintained and submitted to the state authority.

The importance of this portfolio has been emphasized by all ancient writers of Indian polity, such as Shukracharya, Brihaspati and Kautilya.