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being seriously affected. There is a large amount of responsible evidence for
taxing the drug in the Punjab and the North-Western Provinces, where the
consumption is far greater than elsewhere, and the Commission think that Rs. 80
per maund is not too high to begin with. Ultimately, regard being had to the
consideration above noted, the taxation might be raised considerably.

Transport of charas and inter-
provincial arrangements.

675. As the supply of charas is so completely within the control of Gov-
ernment, it is not necessary to say much regarding
its disposal. The establishment of bonded ware-
houses, to which the drug can be taken on arrival, and from which it shall be issued
only on payment of duty by the licensed vendors, has already been decided upon
in the Punjab. This measure will relieve the importers from having to pay the
tax in anticipation of sales, and consignments from these warehouses will be sent
under pass to the different centres of consumption. The Commission do not
think it necessary that the whole duty leviable under provincial arrangement
should be demanded when these consignments are removed. The bonded ware-
house system may be again resorted to by Local Governments which desire to
impose further taxation locally. But as from time to time the Punjab Govern-
ment will, no doubt, find it possible, with reference to political considerations, to
enhance the duty, it will be desirable that there should from the first be an under-
standing as to the relative claims of the importing province and the consuming
province to the duty realized. A similar question has arisen regarding the Raj-
shahi ganja exported to other provinces, and the procedure has not been uniform.
This is one of the cases in which the intervention of the Supreme Government is
needed for the settlement of inter-provincial arrangements and of arrangements
between British provinces and Native States. It may be necessary to amend
the Act in order to carry out the above suggestions. For although section 23-A
of the Act provides for the imposition of duty on the imported drug without
specifying where it should be paid, section 36 (d) lays down that the bringing
of it into British India without payment of the prescribed duty is an offence. The
matter is under the consideration of the Local Government. It is essential that
arrangements should be made for taxing charas not at the frontier, but at the
bonded warehouses.

Control of bhang.

676. The difficulty of controlling bhang in Bengal, Assam, the North-Western
Provinces, and the Punjab arises from the fact that
there is large spontaneous growth in the mountainous
and submontane tracts of these provinces. There is undoubtedly a belt of
growth which precludes strict control. But in parts of these provinces away
from the hills there is little or no spontaneous growth, and in these parts as well
as in the other provinces control is possible. There is a little cultivation in the
Punjab and the North-Western Provinces, and considerably more in proportion in
Sind. None of this cultivation is in the Himalayan region, where the wild growth
exists. With the exception of Bengal and the Central Provinces, the only taxa-
tion is that realised by auction vend of the monopoly of sale. In Bengal a duty
of 8 annas a sér is levied on all bhang brought to the storehouses under Govern-
ment supervision, which represents but a small fraction of what is illicitly con-
sumed. Without controlling the spontaneous growth of the plant, it has been
found impossible to raise the duty, though the subject was fully considered in
1889-90. In the Central Provinces a duty of Rs. 2 per sér is levied on foreign


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