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Indian Currency Committee

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Title: Indian Currency Committee  
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Indian Currency Committee

The Indian Currency Committee or Fowler Committee was a government committee appointed by the British-run Government of India on 29 April 1898 to examine the currency situation in India.[1] Until 1892, silver was the metal on which Indian currency and coinage had largely been based. In 1892, the Government of India announced its intent to "close Indian mints to silver" and, in 1893, it brought this policy into force.[2] The committee recommended that the official Indian rupee be based on the gold standard and the official exchange rate of the rupee be established at 15 rupees per British sovereign, or 1 shilling and 4 pence per rupee.[2] The British Imperial Government accepted the recommendations of the commission in July 1899.[2]

The action of the government in abandoning silver coinage was driven by the relative decline of the value of silver against gold, which had led to an accompanying decline of the rupee against gold and gold-based currencies (such as the British sovereign).[3] India had been importing about a quarter of the annual global production of silver, in part to meet its currency issuing requirements.[4] Some commentators noted that silver was gradually being globally discarded as a basis of currency, with only three main remaining supporters: Mexico (a major producer of silver), the United States, and India.[4] With India's move to the gold standard, the silver standard lost a significant supporter.[4]

Miscellaneous

The committee was chaired by Sir Henry Fowler (later Viscount Fowler), and was often referred to as the Fowler Committee.[5] Its final recommendation was also referred to as the Fowler Report.[6]

References

  1. ^ M. Anees Chishti (2001), Committees and commissions in pre-independence India 1836-1947, Volume 3, Mittal Publications,  
  2. ^ a b c "India: The Currency Question", The West Australian, 31 July 1899, ... London, July 29 ... The Imperial Government have ... adopted the recommendations of the Indian Currency Committee ... proceed to the establishment of a gold currency ... legal rate at which rupees are to exchange with gold be fixed at 1s. 4d. per rupee or 15 rupees to the sovereign ... 
  3. ^ Thomas Nixon Carver (1893), The place of abstinence in the theory of interest, Geo. H. Ellis, ... the Indian government suggested as early as March 1892, the adoption of some measures towards checking the decline in the gold value of the rupee ... 
  4. ^ a b c "The Indian Gold Standard", The Edinburgh review: or critical journal, Volume 188 (A. Constable), October 1898, ... in the estimation of civilized nations silver had definitely been excluded ... the third, and main, great ally of silver was India ... India was buying on an average about a quarter, and the United States rather more than a third of the silver production of the entire world ... 
  5. ^ Indian Currency Committee (1898), Minutes of Evidence Taken Before the Committee Appointed to Inquire Into the Indian Currency: Together with an Analysis of the Evidence, Eyre and Spottiswoode, ... The Right Hon. Sir H.H. Fowler, M.P., Chairman, Indian Currency Committee ... 
  6. ^ Alleyne Ireland (1907), The province of Burma: a report prepared on behalf of the University of Chicago, Houghton, Mifflin and company, ... the Report of the Indian Currency Committee of 1898 (generally known as the Fowler Report) ... 


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