Answer :

After establishing political power, the East India Company successfully procured regular supplies of cotton and silk textiles from Indian weavers via a series of actions. These actions were aimed at eliminating competition from other colonial powers, controlling costs and ensuring regular supplies of cotton and silk goods for Britain.


The Company took several measures in this connection:


(i) Appointed gomasthas to supervise weavers: Company appointed paid servants called the gomasthas to supervise weavers, collect supplies, and examine the quality of cloth. Gomasthas were mainly appointed to eliminate the traders and brokers connected with the cloth trade. With the help of these Gomasthas the company established a direct control over the weavers.


(ii) Loan or advances system: It prevented Company weavers from dealing with other buyers. The Company introduced the system of advances. Once an order was placed, the weavers were give loans to purchase the raw material for their production. Those who took loans, had no choice but to hand over the cloth to the gomastha. This prevented the weavers from going to any other trader. They were bound to weave only for the Company.


(iii) The weavers lost the space to bargain for prices and sell to different buyers. Because they have taken advances from the Gomasthas, those loans and advances had tied them to the Company so they can’t trade with any one and the price they received from the Company was low.


All the above facts made it easy for the East India Company to procure regular supplies of cotton and silk textile from Indian weavers.


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