Beyond the glittering stats

Updated: Mar 30 2006, 05:51am hrs
The reliability of polished diamond export statistics, released by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council is questionable. In the past few months, a number of diamond manufacturers have curtailed their production on the grounds of reduced overseas demand, yet the figures show a rise in diamond shipments (and consequently in overseas demand).
Recently, the Council placed polished diamond exports between April-January of the current fiscal at $9,667.35 million, a rise of 10.80% over shipments worth $8,647.39 million in 2004-05.

The $9,667.35 million worth comprises $7,488.96 million of shipments, and $2,178.48 million of despatches from bonded warehouses. The Council does not clarify who actually brings these polished diamonds into the warehouses.
When diamonds are initially shipped abroad, they are treated as exports. When re-shipment of returned goods take place, these are again treated as exports. This involves the possibility of double or triple counting, thus artificially pushing up export figures.
MD Dewani


PSU audit
This refers to the JJ Irani pa-nels suggestion that audit of public sector companies by CAG be discontinued. When the company form of organisation in the public sector was formed, the then auditor general had said it would be a fraud on the Constit-ution as public money would not be audited by CAG. Subseq-uently, the Act was amended.
TS Ramanarayan

Clarification
In the news item Cabinet note moved for UBI, Indian Bank restructuring (March 29), the reference to the amount of Rs 278 crore is to the accumulated loss and not the net loss. The error is regretted. Editor