Export Earnings

Published:  06:43 AM, 10 July 2024

14 Billion USD Calculation Gap Between BB and EPB Sparks Worries, Suspicion

14 Billion USD Calculation Gap Between BB and EPB Sparks Worries, Suspicion
If the institutions involved with the economic management of the country do not work concertedly or an institution deliberately presents inaccurate records of a sector, it goes without saying that the negative impact will show on the economic growth as well as on every other index of the economy.

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has recently released the balance of payment (BOP) data from the period of July to April of the 2023-24 fiscal year. In the first ten months of the fiscal year in concern, the country's export income has been shown USD 33.67 billion dollars in it.

According to Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) records however, the export income was USD 47.47 billion in this period. In this case, Bangladesh Bank has excluded USD 13.80 billion from the statistics presented by EPB. Besides, the export statistics from the same period of the previous fiscal has also been rectified.

One of the major elements of measuring the significant economic indexes including the size of the GDP, growth and per capita income is the data of export income. Since the export income has decreased from the correction, there will be a significant change in the economic indexes like the size of the GDP, growth and per capita income, believe the people concerned.

Bangladesh Bank recently informed the finance and commerce ministries of the issue of modification in the export income data through letters. It stated that the input of same export information and HS codes of the products have been entered multiple times in the EPB statistics.

It also mentioned that only the production charge is levied in case of cutting, making and trimming of the products. But EPB has counted all the machine parts including the clothes. EPB has sometimes given input for the price of the sample products as well. However, the prices of the samples are not supposed to be included in the records.

According to economists, modification of the export income data will induce changes in almost all sorts of indexes in the macro economy. And for the import data remaining unchanged compared to the export records, the trade deficit will increase even further while the economic growth will reduce as well.

The exclusion of nearly 14 billion dollars from the export earnings has impacted a number of sectors in the BOP. Until March, country's trade deficit was shown at just USD 4.74 billion in the BOP. But in April, this deficit has reached at USD 18.69 billion. Such an inconsistent phenomenon and calculation gap between Bangladesh Bank and EPB have astonished and consternated economists.

The current account balance went from a surplus to a deficit from the impact of the trade deficit going up by almost four times in one go. An exporter told journalists that EPB had been showing exports of more than 1 billion or 100 crore US dollars every month.

Bangladesh Bank officials believe until now the calculations used to be done based on export data from the Export Promotion Bureau or EPB. However, the country wasn't making export income as per the statistics. Also they have had to face various questions from local and international organizations regarding this. From now on, reports will be prepared based on actual data.

We hope that the government will conduct a proper investigation into this matter of discrepancy in the export records and hold the concerned officials accountable. If the mistake was deliberate or not needs to be investigated as well. There are many government officials who want to get acclamation from the policymakers by representing a bright picture of the economy. Yet, it is the public who has to pay for these mistakes.

Traders were not approving of the export records of EPB. The research organizations have also raised questions about the discrepancies at different times. But the policy makers of the government always gave excuses in favour of the bureaucrats. Now after the discrepancies in EPB's records have been revealed, let's see what action the government takes against the people concerned. 


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