Saturday, November 19, 2011



It was in the first quarter of 19th century when Napolean was in Egypt that he picked up a kashmiri shawl and presented it to his wife Josephine whence it became an article of fashion in rich circles of France .

Popularity of kashmiri shawls tempted the rulers to earn revenue from this trade. Shawl trade was heavily taxed . Every shawl was taxed 24% of its value . Heavy duty was also imposed on wool . So much so that this Taxation brought this industry very very close to closure and the poor artisans had begun to starve . The government earned a revenue of 12 lacs from DAG E SHAWL or shawl tax alone .It was Maharaja Ranbir singh who remitted this Tax altogether enabling the Industry to revive and the artisans to survive . The Maharaja taxed goods imported from Punjab and Yarkand instead at a flat rate of 5 percent to make up for the loss of revenue.Heavy tax on shawls is also confirmed by Moorecroft who visited kashmir in 1824 A D .

( Autar Mota  )

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