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Export, import figures: PBS fails to rationalize discrepancy.

Date: 11-07-2018
Subject: Export, import figures: PBS fails to rationalize discrepancy
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) and the State Bank of Pakistan have reportedly failed to rationalize the discrepancy of billions of dollars in export and import figures due to variation in the duration of realization and recording of transactions, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.

According to SBP's annual report for 2012-13, the trade figures reported by SBP in the balance of payments do not match the information provided by the PBS because trade statistics compiled by the SBP are based on exchange record data, which depend on the actual receipt and payment of foreign exchange, whereas the PBS records data based on the physical movement of goods (customs record).

Furthermore, SBP reports both exports and imports as free on board (fob), while PBS records exports as free on board (fob) while imports include the cost of freight and insurance (CIF). In addition, the variation in import data between the two entities also arises due to differences in data coverage, eg, SBP import data does not include Non-Repatriable Investments (NRI) by non-resident Pakistanis, imports under foreign assistance, land-borne imports with Afghanistan, etc. In export data, these differences emerge as PBS statistics do not take into account short shipments and cancellations, while SBP data does not take into account land borne exports to Afghanistan, export samples given to prospective buyers by exporters, exports by EPZs, etc.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the discrepancy in PBS and SBP trade figures hover around $ 3 billion each year which is adjusted from time to time. This period ranges from 15 days to 3 months.

An official informed this scribe that PBS collects data from Customs Collectorates, which is based on actualization of exports at the time of Bill of Lading but SBP does not record it in its accounts until the amount is remitted in its accounts.

"This discrepancy is settled on an annual basis as it is not possible to reconcile figures on a monthly basis," sources maintained.

Both the SBP and PBS reconcile exports and import figures in June each year but even then the entire remitted amount is not reflected in the final figures.

There is also a wide gap in trade figures of China and Pakistan. This issue was raised by Pakistan with Chinese authorities during FTA-II talks. The FBR and Chinese government have also signed Electronic Data Exchange mechanism to sort this discrepancy however the outcome of this agreement has yet to be shared with stakeholders.

Source: fp.brecorder.com

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