Trade Deficit

“The balance of trade (or net exports, NX) is the difference between the monetary value of exports and imports in an economy over a certain period of time.”

Like RBI and Ministry of Foreign trade recently published
“The trade deficit for April- March, 2007 was estimated at US $ 56738.77 million”

A reader’s first First Reaction would be:
At one time 70% of India’s population was in agriculture, yet we had to import Wheat to feed to masses.
Today the rising negative balance of trade and fiscal deficit prove that Indian population cannot make their both ends meet.
So in spite of all the India Sining hype, actually are our trade deficit (in USD terms) and our trade Deficit is rising. India is squandering off its future incomes… and robbing its next generation.

But these statistics are misleading…. One thing I love about Indian Babu’s is that they systematically and deliberately remove the relevance out of every statistics they publish.
eg: The entire calculations conveniently omitted out India’s 2 largest export categories:
1) Export of Human Labor (Remittances accounted for $23 billion in 2004… and government was too lazy to publish any statistics after that)
2) Export of Services (IT/BPO story)

All I am saying is “let us not compile numbers just for the sake of statistics but to derive some meaning out of it.”
1) Tell me for a nation how does it matter whether its citizens earn their foreign exchange by shipping containers through our already clogged ports or by transmitting photons via data cables?
2) When will we accept the fact that the family makes a considerable investment in rearing a child for 20 years, and remittances is a genuine payment for these services (I agree that no kid can ever payback for the trouble he gave to his parents, but by sending money home the guilt gets mitigated)

eg: China accounts for potato consumption whenever it publishes its statistics on Per Capita availability of Food Grains. The logic is simple, a large percentage of population living living in harsh weather use potato as a source of carbohydrates esp. starch.
Similarly why can’t we make our trade deficit figures more meaningful?

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