New Delhi- The commerce ministry has decided to resume the practice of releasing monthly exports and imports data only once in a month with a view to providing a clear picture of the country’s trade, an official said.

Since October 2020, the ministry was releasing the data twice every month — the preliminary data in the first week and then the revised numbers by the middle of the month.

The decision assumes significance as stark contrast between the preliminary and final export growth rate numbers was witnessed in the data for the month of September this year.

According to the preliminary data, released on October 3, the merchandise exports contracted by 3.5 per cent in September to USD 32.62 billion. However, the final data released on October 14 showed a growth of about 5 per cent to USD 35.45 billion.

Some variations in export growth rate figures were seen in the previous months as well.

For example, preliminary data released on September 3 showed a decline of 1.15 per cent to USD 33 billion for exports in August. It was revised to 1.62 per cent at USD 33.92 billion on September 14.

Similarly, the commerce ministry’s preliminary data showed a dip of 0.76 per cent to USD 35.24 billion for exports in July, which was revised to 2.14 per cent growth at USD 36.27 billion.

“Now monthly data will be released once in a month only. The data for October 2022 will be released by middle of this month,” the official said.

Earlier, a senior government official had stated that delay in collection of data from some special economic zones (SEZs) and ports was the major reason for the stark contrast in the preliminary and final export growth rate numbers released by the Centre for September.

Commenting on the decision, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said there were variations in the preliminary and final figures and “I think it is a good practice to come up with the data when the complete information is there.”  (PTI) 


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