S. G. Palmer, Assistant Secretary to the Bengal Board of Customs, Salt and Opium, stated with puzzlement on 27 April 1834: The state of the salt market [in Bengal and Bihar] for some time past has been so difficult to understand… . The price in the mofussil [up-country], by the last returns, is hardly remunerating, although salt has sold at the public sales lower than it has sold for many years; yet how is this to be accounted for? … we see that … they [prices] are really rather lower than ordinary; a fact only to be accounted for by supposing that these markets are illicitly supplied. 1 Why was the government of the English East India Company (hereafter the Company) concerned with the price of salt and perplexed by the state of the market?.
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