Finance

The gross revenue of Lower Burma from all sources in 1871-1872 was Rs.1,36,34,520, of which Rs.1,21,70,530 was from imperial taxation, Rs.3,73,200 from provincial services, and Rs.10,90,790 from local funds. The land revenue of the province was Rs.34,45,230. In Burma the cultivators themselves continue to hold the land from government, and the extent of their holdings averages about five acres. The land tax is supplemented by a poll tax on the male population from 18 to 60 years of age, with the exception of immigrants during the first five years of their residence, religious teachers, schoolmasters, government servants and those unable to obtain their own livelihood. In 1890-1891 the revenue of Lower Burma has risen to Rs.2,08,38,872 from imperial taxation, Rs.1,55,51,897 for provincial services, and Rs.12,14,596 from incorporated local funds. The expenditure on the administration of Lower Burma in 1870-1871 was Rs.49,70,020. In 1890-1891 it was Rs.1,58,48,041. In Upper Burma the chief source of revenue is the thathameda, a tithe or income tax which was instituted by King Mindon, and was adopted by the British very much as they found it. For the purpose of the assessment every district and town is classified according to its general wealth and prosperity.

As a rule the basis of calculation was 100 rupees from every ten houses, with a 10% deduction for those exempted by custom. When the total amount payable by the village was thus determined, the village itself settled the amount to be paid by each individual householder. This was done by thamadis, assessors, usually appointed by the villagers themselves. Other important sources of revenue are the rents from state lands, forests, and miscellaneous items such as fishery, revenue and irrigation taxes. In 1886-1887, the year after the annexation, the amount collected in Upper Burma from all sources was twenty-two lakhs of rupees. In the following year it had risen to fifty lakhs. Much of Upper Burma, however, remained disturbed until 1890. The figures for 1890-1891, therefore, show the first really regular collection. The amount then collected was Rs.87,47,020.

The total revenue of Burma in the year ending March 31, 1900 was Rs.7,04,36,240 and in 1905, Rs.9,65,62,298. The total expenditure in the same years respectively was Rs.4,30,81,000 and Rs.5,66,60,047. The principal items of revenue in the budget are the land revenue, railways, customs, forests and excise.

Defence

Burma is garrisoned by a division of the Indian army, consisting of two brigades, under a lieutenant-general. Of the native regiments seven battalions are Burma regiments specially raised for permanent service in Burma by transformation from military police. These regiments, consisting of Gurkhas, Sikhs and Pathans, are distributed throughout the Shan States and the northern part of Burma. In addition to these there are about 13,500 civil police and 15,000 military police. The military police are in reality a regular military force with only two European officers in command of each battalion; and they are recruited entirely from among the warlike races of northern India. A small battalion of Karens enlisted as sappers and miners proved a failure and had to be disbanded. Experiments have also been made with the Kachin hillmen and with the Shans; but the Burmese character is so averse to discipline and control in petty matters that it is impossible to get really suitable men to enlist even in the civil police.

The volunteer forces consist of the Rangoon Port Defence Volunteers, comprising artillery, naval, and engineer corps, the Moulmein artillery, the Moulmein, Rangoon, Railway and Upper Burma rifles.