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Economic Reforms of Ala-ud-Din Khilji

Economic Reforms of Ala-ud-Din Khilji

One of the biggest credits of Ala-ud-Din Khilji was the economic reforms which emancipated the masses from the hoarders and inflation and which were imitated by the rulers of the world. He fixed the prices of the commodities all over the empire and set up a strict supervision system to insure the availability of goods at equal prices.

Thus, curtailing the monopoly of the selected few, he facilitated the common people with low and fixed price commodities. Advised by Malik Faqir-ud-Din (according to some writers, Khatir-ud-Din), the most senior advisor, the Sultan fixed the prices of almost all commodities in the market. Some of them were rice, sugar, salt, vegetables, fruits, grams, lentils, crockery, clothes, caps, shoes, needles, cows, goats, camels, buffaloes, bulls, slaves and even prostitutes. No one dared to change the price of these goods throughout the empire and anyone found guilty of deviation was cruelly punished by the Sultan. Sultan himself supervised and invigilated the prices in a disguised way and sent the children to different shops to buy different things in order to know the rates of those goods.

Hoarding was strictly banned and the surplus grain was kept in the warehouses of the government and the officials appointed by Sultan bought the grain directly from the farmers and gave it to the traders who sold it with the percentage of profit defined by the Sultan. Sultan kept an eye on the weather conditions and floated required exemptions in case of any catastrophe. He was also concerned about the care of farmers and dealers.  The people, who were averse of the atrocities of the hoarders, took a sigh of relief and the royal treasure was filled with the grain (to serve in bad times) first time in history.

Sultan established “Srai Adls”, the clothes market where the traders were allowed to sell the clothes within specific time. Other than these markets, clothes were not available and if someone was found selling clothes beyond the given parameters, Sultan ordered to cut his nose or ear. Except the registered traders, no one could trade in clothes. Thus Sultan regularized the market with the fixed prices. For a fine cloth, the head of Srai Adl issued permits to the traders and all the traders were given 200,000 rupees from royal treasure to buy the cloth.

Ala-ud-Din fixed the salary of the soldiers on annual basis and salary of a soldier was 234 tunka per annum while the allowance was78 tunka. Every soldier was bound to keep two horses in a year and was responsible for the upkeep of the horses along with his artillery and family expenditures within the given income.

He established markets in big cities for grain traders and inhabited the traders in those markets facilitating the subjects with grain from a single point. No one was allowed to buy or sell the grain from somewhere else. These markets obeyed the opening and closing hours defined by the Sultan who noticed even the minor violation of the rules and took serious actions. Shahna, an official from Sultan was responsible the successful flow of economy. Supported by Nybe Shahna, the second to the official, he was bestowed with especial jagir and discretionary powers. Besides them, spies were assigned the task of reporting any malpractices by the traders to the Sultan. These economic reforms laid the foundations of a successful economic system which was followed by the rulers of the rest of the world. Inflation was controlled in a tremendous way and price check system brought the name of Sultan on the top of those who designed the economic system.

About SAIMA ASHRAF

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