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B. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) Rice.

Mysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) online

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1,094,357


8,054


1,086,127


6,876


677,116


126


21 840


49


20, 340


41


16,450


45


17,400


45


17,430


236


90,625


355


113.950


236


87,250


68


25,650


69


28,734


131


117,600


123


107,360


167


165,400


150


96,040


150


"3,455


205,250


675,000


254,400


772,450


25,500


100,000


40,250


118,000


30,000


67,500


75


10,000


90


15,000


90


15,000


51


9.100


50


9,100


107,772


2,678,700


125,778


3,228,199


96,573


2,592,133


226,310


2.872,785


109,917


4. 116. 579


■53,073


4,348,587


47,188


3,822,881


59,330


5.154,840


42,568


4,341.745


38.346


4,433,700


36,827


1,034,410


43,701


1,729,248


127,822


4,562,056


28,248


3,956,531


113.460


5,114.478


32


460,000


43


649,820


92


1,400,165


97


1,333,500


103


1,391,089


2,000


20,000


3,000


30,000


3,000


30,000


2,500


25,000


103,600


336,000


I


89,600


I


144,000


2


192,000


I


90,240


I


90,240


6,878


634,640


1,453


346,504


1,460


349,504


1,805


533.980


i,47«


475,200


1,564


113,910


1,166


118,986


2,298


180,696


1,477


96,480


1,400


"5.943


143


69,940


22 1


130,034


245


140,849


198


139,471


381


117,804


14,081


734,800


9,178


456,401


6,137


370,211


6,340


438,864


3,106


'95.703


1.432


109,076


1,462


145,175


1,569


155.400


1,363


132,896


1,508


146,043



56o



TRADE AND COMMERCE



Imports.


Exports.




Imports.


Exports.


Rs.


Ks.




Rs.


Rs.


i7)495>6o8 ..


9,190,729


1886-7 ..


. 86,536,629 .


• 18,971,916


13.971,561 ■■


11,859,114


1887-8 ..


• 28,993,093 .


. 32,876,214


14,470,550 ..


11,534,075


1888-9 ..


. 27,518,820 .


. 18,770,504


17,766,503 ..


12,756,192


1889-90 ..


. 28,423,514 .


. 32,284,429


21,390,418 ..


16,164,389


1890-I ..


28,072,520 .


. 25,267,151



The following are the total estimated values of imports and exports
for the ten years : —



1881-2
1882-3
1883-4
1884-5
1885-6

The detailed statement of the articles included in these figures is
contained in the preceding tables.

A great development has taken place in late years of commercial
speculations and transactions, as may be gathered from the number of
banking and trading Joint-Stock Companies (Limited) registered in
Mysore. At the close of the year 1894-5 there were altogether 92
such Companies or Associations, whose aggregate nominal capital
amounted to Rs. 4,340,292. Of course this refers only to local Com-
panies, and does not include the Gold-mining Companies, which are all
formed in England.

The subjoined statement gives further details as to the Companies : —



Nature of Business. Number.


Nominal Capital


Paid-up Capital.






Rs.


Rs.


Banking and Loans


80


• ■ 3>6i9,292


... 1,958,250


Banking and Insurance


3


105,000


101,100


Trading and Merchandise


3


100,000


84,925


Plantation


I


30,000


22,467


Mills


3


486,000


400,000


Others (one a Dramatic Company)


2


(limited to


36 members).



The following is a summary of the places in which these Companies
are located : —

Mysore ...

Chik Ballapur ...

Bangalore

Tirumakudal Narsipur .

Seringapatam

Sidlaghatta

Melukote

Tumkur ...

Hassan ...

Chitaldroog

From 1873 Government servants have been interdicted from holding
such posts as Directors, Managers, Agents, &c., of Banks, and required
to sever all connection with Companies established in the District in
which they are employed. The duties of Auditor have however been
permitted, as an exception to the rule, to be performed by public
servants, as they are of a temporary character.



32


Srinivaspur


12


Nanjangud


10


Chamrajnagar


7


Kolar


5


Gudibanda


5


Goribidnur


3


Shikarpur


2


Devanhalli


2


Mandya ...


2





56i



WAGES AND PRICES

JVages. — The great development of industries in the last decade,
and the extensive scale on which railways and puljlic works of all kinds
have been carried out, following upon the loss of population incurred
in the famine of 187 7-8, have led to much rise in the rates of wages for
all classes of work. The following are given as the rates of daily
wages ruling in each District in 1893, and they are still advancing : —



I Bangalore



i to 12a



Skilled

labour

Unskilled ,

11 2 „ 6 a.

labour "

Cart hire 8 „ i r.



Kolar



to a. to I r.
4 . , 6 a.



Tiimkur Mysore



I
8 to 12 a. 8 to 12 a.

4 ,, 6a. 2 ,, 4 a.



Ha.ssan



!a. to I Jr.
- 11 4 ^



Shimoga I Kadiir IChitaldroog



i .T. to I r. 8 a. to If.! 8 a. lo I r.
• ., 4a. 3 ,, 6a. 4 ,, 8a.
! ,, I r. 12 ,, ijr. 12 „ I r.



The corresponding average rates in 1876, as stated in the former
edition, were — for skilled labour, 4 as. to i R. a day ; unskilled
labour, 2 as. to 8 as. a day; cart hire, 8 as. to \\ R. a day. The
minimum daily wage for skilled labour has thus doubled in the past
twenty years in all Districts ; that for unskilled has doubled in three
Districts and increased by a half in another; the maximum daily rate
of cart-hire is one-fourth higher in Mysore District, and a half higher
in the three western Districts and Chitaldroog. It is also probable
that the hours of labour are generally shorter now than they used to be.

Figures for comparison are not available for any long period back,
but in 1876 it was the opinion that the j)rice of un.skilled labour had
doubled since 1850, and that of skilled labour risen threefold.

According to Buchanan, the wages paid to day labourers in 1800
were : — men, ^ to | a fanam, women \ a fanam ; or, in the present
currency, about 2 as. to 2 as. 8 ]). and i a. 4 p. respectively. At
the present time (1896) 5 as. is a common rate in 15angalore for men,
and 2 as. 4 p. for women.

Of the cost of living some estimate may be formed from the charge
per head of dieting the convicts in jail. In 1866-7, a dear year, the
rate varied from Rs. 3 — 4 — o to Rs. 4 — 6 — o a month. In 187 1-2, a
cheap year, the rates were — for labouring convicts from R. i — 11 — 10
to Rs. 2 — ID — o, and for non-labouring convicts from R. i — 4 — 11 to
Rs. 2 — 1 — 2. In 1875, the average was Rs. 2 — 6 — o per head. In
1890, when a new scale of diet was introduced, the average cost was
Rs. 2 — 8 — 10 per head. It must be remembered, however, that the

o o



5^2



WAGES AND PRICES



articles consumed in the jails are obtained in large quantities, whole-
sale.

The maximum daily rations of a labouring ryot, at hard work, may
be stated at i^ seers (3 lbs.) of ragi flour and about ^ seer (4 ozs.)
of gram or ballar (bean), with condiments, while the quantity of ragi
flour required by other adults varies from ^ seer (i lb.) to 'I seer per
day.

Prices. — -There are not sufficient statistics available to illustrate
the general rise in prices. Buchanan states that the prices at
Bangalore in 1800 were, — ragi, 12 Sultani fanams per kandaga of 200
seers ; rice, best sort, 28^, coarse, 66|; wheat, 57. That is to say, ragi
was 50 seers for the rupee ; rice, ist sort, 9, 2nd sort, 21 ; wheat, io|.
These rates seem high, being perhaps unduly raised by the late wars
and desolation. Dr. Heyne's prices for different places between
Bangalore and Chitaldroog at about the same period, or perhaps a year
or two later, vary as follows : — for paddy or unhusked rice from 18 to
7 3 "8 seers per rupee ; ragi, 38-4 to 113 ; jola, 73*8 to 120 ; wheat, 6 to
24; horse-gram, 11 to 113 ; Bengal gram 6 to 147*7.

The following comparative statement embraces twelve years past,
and gives the average rates for three principal grains : —

Average Prices of Produce from 1881 to 1893,

PER MAUND of 8o LBS.





Rice.


Ragi.


Ho


rse-g


ram.






R.


a.


P-


R.


a.


p-


R.


a.


P-




I88I-2


3


I


9




7


8




4


9




1882-3


2


10







3







2


9




1883-4


2


8







I


6




3


10




1884-5


2


13


I




8


9




10


I




1885-6


3


6


II




8







10







1886-7


2


12


8





II


10




3


10




I8S7-8


2


12


6


2


3


9




4


5




1888-9


3


2


5





15


8




13


2




IS89-90


3


6


II


I





3


2


12







I 890- I


4


2


I


I


6


I


2


I


10




I89I-2


4


15


10


I


15


I


2


14


7




1892-3


3


13


9


I


7


I


2


II


3





Regarding fluctuations in prices of produce as influenced by the
seasons, the following remarks are extracted from the Annual Reports :

1855-6. — In the Chitaldroog and Nagar Divisions, the season was rather
more favourable than in the preceding year. In the Ashtagram Division it
was less so, and in Bangalore there was a total failure of the early rains.
As, however, there was a fair average fall throughout the country in July,



PRICES 563

August, September and October, and as a fourth disastrous season in
succession was hardly to be expected, all were sanguine that we were once
more to be blessed with an abundant harvest. In this we were doomed to
be disappointed ; for in November, when a few showers are absolutely
necessary for watering the dry crops, there was a total failure of rain, and
in the prospect which then became certain of a fourth scanty harvest,
prices, already high, at once rose still higher, and grain continued at almost
famine rates till the opening of the last monsoon, which in the eastern por-
tion of the Territory set in in a style that had an immediate eliect on the
market. The long prevalence of these high rates fell very heavily on the
non-agricultural classes, but pressed comparatively lightly on the cultivating
ryots ; for although their crops were scanty and vast numbers of their cattle
died for want of forage, yet the prices which they received for what
remained of their crops was so high that they were able to pay their rents
with ease, and to replace their farm stock.

1856-7. — The season commenced auspiciously, and the rains of the
south-west monsoon were for the most part steady and regular. There was,
however, a partial failure of the north-east monsoon, in consequence of
\vhich the dry crops in some taluqs of the Ashtagram Division were
withered up, and the yield of the batayi crops in all the Divisions, more
particularly in Bangalore, was much less than in the preceding year. The
harvest altogether was below the average, but the prices of all grains were
steady and remunerative, and the ryots would have had no serious cause of
complaint had there not been a most fatal murrain among cattle which
spread havoc through the country.

1857-8. — The season has been the sixth bad season in succession with
which Mysore has been afflicted. In the Ashtagram Division it is true that
it was less unfavourable than it had been in the two preceding years, but in
the other three Divisons it was worse if possible than the previous ones.
The south-west monsoon came down in scattered showers and was
altogether insufficient and partial. The north-east monsoon was more
copious, but still not what ic usually is, and altogether insufficient to make
up for what had been wanting from the south-west. In consequence of
this, a large expanse of land cultivated with wet crops was left untilied in
the Bangalore Division. In Chitaldroog the harvest was only one-third of
what is considered an average crop. In Nagar the supari gardens are
regarded as having suffered lasting damage, except in those favoured spots
where the irrigation is derived from lakes fed by perennial springs. In
Ashtagram alone the prospects of the ryots were brighter than they had
been for some time before.

1858-9. — The season, although not favourable, was on the whole better
than the preceding. The south-west monsoon almost totally failed, and
gave rise to the apprehension that another bad season was about to follow
the five highly unfavourable years which immediately preceded the past ;
later in the year, however, copious rain fell ; all those tanks which were
strong enough to stand the rush of water were filled to overllowing, but in
many places great destruction ensued.

002



564 J FACES AND PRICES

1859-60. — On the whole, the past season commenced more favourably
than the four seasons immediately preceding ; the copious showers of the
south-west monsoon giving the promise of an abundant crop of dry
grain. But unfortunately the hopes then formed were to a great extent
disappointed by a considerable defalcation of the rains of the north-east
monsoon, on which the wet cultivation chiefly depends, and which are
required to bring the dry grain to maturity. The consequence has been
a great increase of prices throughout the Territory, without, however,
causing serious distress, the wages of labour having risen in about the
same proportion.

1860-1. — The season was not a good one. It was not quite as bad as
some that have preceded it since 1853, but the almost entire failure of the
latter rains caused a very serious loss both in the quantity and quality of
the crops. In the Malnad taluqs even the south-west monsoon did not
pour down with its usual abundance, and the consequence has been a
failure both in garden produce and rice. Many of the wells and streams
in those parts dried up so completely as to inconvenience very seriously
both the inhabitants and their cattle. In the Chitaldroog Division, the
rains ceased abruptly at the end of August, and not a single shower fell in
that District during September or October, the most critical period of the
season for the crops. In some exceptional parts of the Province, the
harvest was very fair in quantity, but these spots were few and far between,
with the exception perhaps of those taluqs to the southward, where the wet
lands are supplied copiously with water by the channels drawn from the
Kaveri and other rivers. Two reasons exist for the non-appearance of
actual famine in some parts. The first being the habit which prevails in
this country of storing the surplus ragi in underground pits, from which it
is withdrawn in times of scarcity, as the grain will keep sound and good
for forty or fifty years. The second reason was the extraordinarily high
prices which all kinds of produce realized. In fact every article of con-
sumption rose during the latter year in value, and the ryots and garden
cultivators were thereby enabled to pay their khists and hire ; whilst the
poorer classes and labourers received a higher rate of wage than has ever
previously been known in Mysore. But the high prices press very heavily
on all people of fixed incomes.

1S61-2. — The season was decidedly the best for some years past, and
had the latter rains been as copious as those of the early part of the season,
the ryots would once again have begun to think that the days of abundant
harvests which they knew prior to 1S53 were about to return. But the
Nagar Division did not fare so well as the others. It would appear that as
soon as the ryots of Nagar became apprehensive of a short monsoon, they
began sowing the rice lands with dry crops. A subsequent heavy downpour
in many cases destroyed these also. As compared with former years, high
prices continue to rule in Mysore. People have given up hoping for the
return of those days when grain that is now 20 seers was sold as low as 60,
70 and even 80 seers for the rupee. The only solution of this state of
things is increase of population, and consequent higher prices, the daily



PRICES 565

increasing facility of communication, and the decline in the mercantile
value of the current coin of the realm. Not even in the most remote parts
of the country will a rupee now purchase the quantity of grain which could
have been bought with it a few years ago.

1862-3. — In Bangalore the season was considered generally favourable.
In Kolar, though the rains were irregular, the outturn of the crops was
considered superior to that of any harvest for ten years. In Tumkur the
season began favourably with showers in May, but owing to the failure of
the rains anticipated in June and July, and the prevalence of boisterous
winds, some loss was experienced and the land had in many places to be
resown. The latter rains were abundant, and the tanks generally received
an adequate supply of water without injury. The yield of ragi was a full
average, but there was a partial failure in some of the pulse crops. The
grain harvest in Ashtagram was one of the best known for years, but the
season was unfavourable to tobacco, supari, chillies and some other pro-
ducts. The season throughout the Nagar Division, as compared with that
of the previous year, was generally more favourable, notwithstanding a
diminished rainfall, but it varied much in the three Districts and cannot be
pronounced to be a good year. The prices of the principal grains were
lower than in 186 1-2, but are still considered high with reference to those
prevailing a few years ago. Cotton was in great demand, the exports to
England having completely cut off the supply from Bellary and other cotton-
growing Districts, and the price was higher than it has ever been known to
be in Mysore.

1863-4. — The dry cultivation in the Nundidroog Division was extensive,
and the ragi crops were generally good, though, consequent on the failure
of the latter rains, the prospect of an unusually heavy crop was not
realized. The grain crop was below the average and the later pulse crops
almost entirely perished. The north-east monsoon in Novenil^cr and
December completely failed and the cultivation of wet lands was therefore
limited. In Ashtagram the season is reported to have been on the whole
very similar to that of the preceding year. The whole wet crop throughout
the Division was that of a good average year, but the dry crops, except in
the taluqs bordering on the Malnad, were as a rule unfavourable, and
failed from want of rain, or rather from unseasonable weather, partial
showers and sometimes heat destroying the plants. In Nagar the season
generally was unfavourable, the rains being scanty and for the most part
unseasonable. The latter rains almost entirely failed. Nearly all the
tanks were consequently dried up, and the people and cattle sulTcred
much.

1S64-5. — In the Nundidroog Division the season was on the whole a
favourable one. The paddy crop reaped in November was abundant and
made up for a deficiency in the May crop, which suffered from the want of
a sufficient supply of water in the tanks. The dry grain harvest was an
average one. From the Ashtagram Division the report is not so favour-
able. In Nagar the season was generally unpropitious, scarcely a shower
of rain having fallen in the six months from October to March. After the



566 WAGES AND PRICES

first sliowcrs in April, a small smooth brown caterpillar made its appear-
ance in a portion of the Division, and in a few days ate up ever)- green
thing, the grass assuming the appearance of having been burnt up. Both
monsoons were characterized by violent storms of wind and rain which
did much damage to public works and cattle. The price of agricultural
produce of all kinds is still high.

1865-6. — A year which commenced with abundant rain and every
prospect of plentiful harvests, became, as it ran its course, less and less
promising, and in its latter months ended in drought, sickness and heavy
mortality. The high prices which had everywhere prevailed had been
more disastrous to the mass of the people than they have been advanta-
geous to the purely agricultural portion of it. Indeed, the ryots themselves
have exported so much grain, owing to the extravagant rates which ruled in
the markets in the cotton-growmg Districts of Bellar)"^ and Dharwar, that
the hoarded supply of years which formerly filled their grain pits has been
well nigh exhausted, and there has therefore in many places been
apparently an absolute want of seed for sowing purposes. Among the
officials and the non-agricultural classes there has been much distress, and
the failure of the ragi harvest has been a most serious misfortune to the
population generally.

1866-7. — The immediate cause of the distress in the past year was
undoubtedly the failure of the early rains of 1866 succeeding upon the
scanty harvest obtained in the previous autumn. The ryots had moreover
to a great extent neglected the provision which it had been customary to
make against bad seasons. Grain was largely exported to supply the
necessities of districts to the northward, where the cultivation of cotton had
in a considerable degree superseded that of food grains. The drought
made itself felt more or less throughout the province, but nowhere so
severely as in the taluqs lying along the northern and eastern frontiers.
Before the month of June the scarcity of food had grown into a famine of
an appalling character. The people were driven to feed on the kernel of
the tamarind fruit and cotton-seed reduced to flour, and even on leaves and
roots. \''illages were deserted by their inhabitants, who fled to other parts
of the country in search of food, and from the instances that came to notice
it is to be feared that deaths from actual starvation were not of rare
occurrence. Sickness was speedily engendered by the deleterious food,
and cholera, dysentery, and fever carried off large numbers of people. In
the absence of any pasturage, the cattle suffered severely. This state of
things was fortunately limited to one portion, and that a comparatively
small portion, of the Province, but the effects of the drought, which
continued till the month of September, when rain fell copiously, were felt
in a greater or less degree in every District, and caused much misery and
suffering among the poorer classes.

1 867-8. — Compared with the condition of things last year, the ryots and
people of all classes have reason to congratulate themselves on the season-
able rain and consequent good pasturage. The price of grain has fallen in
all Districts 25 and 50 per cent., and even lower. This is especially notice-



PRICES 567

able in Chitaldroog District, where 23 seers of ragi instead of



Online LibraryB. Lewis (Benjamin Lewis) RiceMysore: a gazetteer compiled for government (Volume 1) → online text (page 67 of 98)