Charter Act 1793: The Charter Act was passed in 1793. This act was passed in the last days of Lord Cornwallis ' tenure. The Regulating Act passed in 1773 and the Pitt's India Act of 1786 was further reformed and the Charter Act was passed in 1793. This act is also known as the East India Company Act 1793.
The important points of this Act are mentioned below –
- This act continued the Company's rule over the British territories in India.
- The Company's trading monopoly was further extended for another 20 years, while voices were being raised in Britain at that time to end the Company's trading monopoly in India.
- The Act made it clear that all political functions of the Company were not independent but of the British Government, the Company acts only as a representative of the Crown.
- It was approved to increase the dividend of the directors of the company by 10%.
- By this act, the Governor-General and the members of his council, explaining the eligibility for membership, made it mandatory to have experience of at least 12 years in India.
- The chief general could not become a member of the Governor-General's council unless he was specifically nominated by the Board of Control. As per the earlier Act, he was a member of the council.
- In the Pitt's India Act of 1786, the Governor-General was given more powers, he could in certain circumstances reject the decision of his council. In this Act, this rule was further defined, and it was made clear that the Governor-General can only reject the decision of the Council on matters of peace, security, and interest of the British territories, justice, law, or tax. He did not have this right in the matter.
- The Governor-General was empowered to appoint a Vice-Chairman from among the civilian members of his Council during his absence from Bengal.
- Some changes were made in the composition of the control board. It should consist of a chairman and two junior members. The obligation for a junior member to be a member of the Emperor's Privy Council was abolished.
- The Board of Control and the salaries of all the employees of the company were now to be paid by the company itself from the Indian treasury. The main reason for the corruption among the employees of the company was that their salary was given from the British fund, due to which the salary was less and was not given regularly, due to which the employees used to indulge in corruption. An attempt was made to remedy this by this act.
- After all expenses, the company was to pay 5 lakh rupees from Indian revenue annually to the British government.
- In this act, it was made a rule that the senior officers of the company could not leave India without permission, if they do so then it will be considered their resignation.
- The company was empowered to grant licenses to individuals and employees of the company to do business in India. This was known as "privilege" or "country trade".
- The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court was further extended.
- This act can be considered an indicator of the expansionist policy of the British government. The company now started controlling the personal rights and property of Indians as well.
After this came the Charter Act 1813.