‹‹‹ prev (352) Page 318Page 318

(354) next ››› Page 320Page 320

(353) Page 319 -


certain that he recoups himself in many cases by taking out licenses for the retail
vend. The system thus encourages a combination of interests which is not generally
desirable. The subject is unfortunately not treated in the memorandum, but in
Jubbulpore the Commission ascertained that out of 71 retail shops, 20 were held by
the wholesale monopolist. The status of the latter is such as to give him practical
command of the situation, and the inference is almost irresistible that he will make
use of this power to acquire for himself some of the profits attaching to the
retail business if dissatisfied with the profits of the wholesale business. Viewed
in this light, the limitation of the price may be to a large extent inoperative.

Its abolition recommended.

654. Upon the whole it appears to the Commission that any attempt to regu-
late the price of ganja otherwise than by a combined
system of fixed duty and auction vend of monopoly
of retail sale in tracts differently circumstanced is a mistake. It amounts to
an interference either too great or too little. A Government monopoly under
which, through the agency of Government officers, the drug would be offered
to the public at a maximum price would be a simple arrangement. This has
been shown not to be the best system for ganja (Chapter XIV, paragraph 589).
The alternative is to levy a duty which must be regulated according to experi-
ence, the maximum being determined by those general considerations which have
been elsewhere explained, and leave the supply unhampered, except by such
check as is afforded by the auction of monopoly of retail sale. The latter
affords the necessary adjustment for disadvantages pertaining to different locali-
ties, such as unusual cost of carriage, facilities for smuggling, etc. If on account
of such disadvantages the rate of duty needs to be reduced, there is nothing to
prevent the adoption of special rates of duty for particular tracts.

In recommending an increase of duty, therefore, on Khandwa ganja, the
Commission are prepared also to recommend that the rule under which ganja
is supplied by wholesale to retail vendors at a fixed price should be abolished,
and that wholesale vendors should not be required to pay fees for their licenses.

Storage of ganja and increase in
number of wholesale vendors.

655. In one respect the Central Provinces system is more efficient than that
of Bengal, viz., the storage of the produce. No
difficulty seems to have occurred in these provinces
in bringing all the ganja to a central godown at
Khandwa. This is probably because the establishment of the godown has
obliged the cultivators to come to early terms with the wholesale dealers or
their agents. Mr. Robertson, Deputy Commissioner of Nimar, says: "The
agents buy up the ganja on their own account as a speculation frequently while
the crop is standing. The whole outturn thus passes into the hands of about a
dozen men, who are then able to run up the price at the Khandwa storehouse
to all except the wholesale vendors, by whom they have been specially retained.
The existence of the 'corner' in no way affects the vend of ganja, so far as this
province is concerned. The wholesale vendors have to supply the retail ven-
dors at Rs. 3 per sér, so that the latter, and through them the consumers, are
not affected. But wholesale vendors from other provinces undoubtedly find it
difficult to make purchases at Khandwa." The Commission think that a
system which leads to the speedy disposal of the crop by the cultivators to
the wholesale vendors is desirable, but the monopoly of wholesale vend seems
to be in this province in too few hands, whereby combination against a rise of

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence

Takedown policy