Trade Policy In Kautilya’s Regime

Manjula Upadhyay


Trade both internal and external is considered as an engine of growth. Economic development is not complete without trade and commerce. Kautilya’s arthshastra considers trade as the third pillar of economic activity. Trade was controlled by the state. He lays down the commercial policy of the state for the promotion maintenance of internal and foreign trade and for economic development. This paper examines Kautilya’s thinking related to trade and commerce and its relevance in present context. After agriculture and cattle rearing trade was the third most important constituent of the economy of the Kautilyan state. A large part of trading was done by the state and strict control was observed on the private trade. Increasing revenue from trade and welfare of the people was primary objective of the state.


Kautilya, Classic development, Trade, Tradition

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