This could be achieved by treating the entire revenue of the country as gross profits. From these the expenses necessary for maintaining government and army, and law and order the costs of maintenance of the existing system of exploitation had to be deducted in order to yield the net profits. These could, in turn, be invested for the purchase of Indian commodities, the so-called ‘investments’.
The purchase of these commodities in conditions where the buyer had a monopoly, and their sale in markets throughout the world, further enlarged the profits before the ‘tribute’-a word freely in use for it at the time -was finally received in England.
The revenues from the conquests dwarfed the amount of bullion that had once financed English trade; and, accordingly, the exports of Indian commodities underwent an enormous increase. British imports originating in ‘East India’ increased from ?1.5 million in 1750-51 to 5.8 million in 1797-98, from 12 per cent of total British imports to 24 per cent.
In contrast, the British exports to East India rose only from 6.4 per cent to 9 per cent of total British exports. Unlike the later imperialists, fighting for markets in the colonies, these pre- industrial conquerors were hunting for colonial commodities, which had the whole world as their market”.
Interestingly the profits so gained by English did not come from commerce but were made available through the collection of land revenue. Thus if the profits had to be increased the land revenue too needed to be enhanced.
A great pressure was exerted on the farmer peasants for maximising the land revenue. The results were terrifying as the agriculture was ruined. The colonial perception of the commercial use of resources had yielded disastrous results.