The Indian government said on Friday it overestimated export-related figures by more than $9 billion because of software upgrades and punching errors, resulting in a margin of error of 5.52 per cent which prompted data revision for eight months.

I have always maintained that these are provisional and unreliable numbers. Because of the ongoing controversy on how reliable the numbers are, we have gone back to the books, we corrected the numbers and we did find mistakes and it has not changed any major thing, said Indian Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar.

All that has happened, which we figured out later, was that of the total exports basket, there had been an error in the order of $9.4 billion. That now stands corrected...mistake happens, he added. The notion that the government is deliberately cooking up and telling lies has got to stop, Khullar stressed.

Khullar also released figures on exports and imports, which show a trade deficit. India's exports rose by 33.2 percent to $192.7 billion in the first eight months of 2011-12, while imports during the same period increased to $309.5 billion, resulting in a trade deficit of $116.8 billion. Meanwhile, exports for the month of November stood at $22.3 billion and imports at $35.9 billion, creating a trade deficit of $13.6 billion.

Balance of trade remains a serious problem as imports continue to be very high, he said. Growth in exports is still good, he added. The trade gap can have serious impact on the weakening of the rupee, which, in turn, can further raise inflation levels that have gone dangerously close to double digits in the last few months.

It (weaker rupee) will make exports more competitive but it will also make imports more expensive, Khullar said. The deceleration in imports has been slower than the deceleration of exports, at least in the last four months, he added.