Lack of uniformity creates confusion in trade data

lack-of-uniformity-creates-confusion-in-trade-data

KATHMANDU, NOVEMBER 26

Lack of uniformity in data compiled by different government bodies has created confusion regarding trade statistics once again, as discrepancies have been noticed in data on and export of different commodities compiled by the Trade and Export Promotion Centre () and (NRB).

There has always been a disparity in trade data compiled by these bodies, although they collect data from the same source, which is the Department of Customs (DoC). This has raised a question on the reliability of trade statistics.

TOP FIVE IMPORTS AS PER NRB IN FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 2020-21
Import value Share in total imports
equipment and parts vehicles tyres Rs 24.74 billion 8.50%
Petroleum products Rs 23.18 billion 7.90%
Other machinery and parts Rs 15.03 billion 5.10%
Rice Rs 10.6 billion 3.60%
MS Billet Rs 9.86 billion 3.40%
TOP FIVE IMPORTS AS PER TEPC IN FIRST THREE MONTHS OF 2020-21
Import value Share in total imports
Iron and steel products Rs 28.1 billion 9.60%
Petroleum products Rs 23.18 billion 7.90%
Machinery and other parts Rs 22.8 billion 7.80%
Transport vehicles and parts Rs 19.8 billion 6.80%
 Cereals Rs 19.8 billion 6.80%
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For instance, the macroeconomic report of Nepal Rastra Bank shows that the country imported transport equipment and parts and vehicles and tyres worth Rs 24.74 billion in the first three months of the current fiscal year. This is around Rs five billion more than the statistics compiled by the TEPC. Data from TEPC shows that transport vehicles and parts worth Rs 19.8 billion were imported during the same period.

“There is discrepancy in the data due to the difference in grouping of the products in specific categories,” said Ram Neupane, assistant director of NRB’s External Sector Division under the Economic Research Department. Further explaining, he said, “We have additionally included tyres, tubes and flaps, and equipment used for railway fittings, among others under the category of transport vehicles and parts while categorising the products. As a result, the import data under this category compiled by NRB is higher.”

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The central bank has listed transport equipment and parts, vehicles and tyres in the top position among imported commodities stating it has 8.5 per cent contribution in total imports, while TEPC has listed the same category in fourth position with total share of 6.8 per cent in total imports in the country in the review period.

There is also discrepancy in data of machinery parts imports. As per NRB, the country imported machinery and other parts worth Rs 15.03 billion while as per TEPC, the amount is Rs 22.8 billion. “TEPC is found to have grouped overall machinery equipment under machine

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