By 1760s revenue of Maratha Empire matched Britain’s, reaching £12m a year. Its tax assessment & collection was so effective that when EIC eventually took over, they used Maratha tax charts for years to come. Below English translation of Marathi revenue administration map, c1790.
Overriding image of Marathas is of course one of raiders and plunderers – thanks largely to British accounts, who were themselves often the targets. Sophisticated revenue system and Maratha banking and finance hardly gets a look in!
Not just tax, the basis for the ‘subsidiary treaties’ signed across India modelled on the Maratha treaties of chauth. Brits also took the same 25% of revenue, and kept a resident @ court.
The captured artillery, foundries, and defecting infantry too were incorporated.
UK pulled ahead in 1790s as mass mobilization+taxes took revenue to 25m, while deaths of Mahadji, Sawai Madhavrao and Nana Fadnavis collapsed Marathas.
Found the state budget for the Peshwa’s lands in Madhavrao’s time (1767), 5y after Panipat.
Total revenue ~9cr, 18% from tribute. Half from north, half from Nizam. 20% from customs.
Right is spending. No tributes paid, almost half going to paying down debt.
Source of Map: Prasad P. Gogate and B. Arunachalam, ‘Area Maps in Maratha Cartography’, Imago Mundi, vol. 50 (1998) for the above revenue map.