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Import of sensitive items rises 27 pc

Our Bureau

New Delhi , April 28

THOUGH sensitive items comprises a minuscule 5.1 per cent of the country's aggregate imports, the import of 300 sensitive tariff lines for the first 10 months of 2003-04 fiscal (April to January) has registered a hefty 27 per cent growth in rupee terms.

According to figures released by the Commerce Ministry, the total of 300 sensitive tariff lines for the period April 2003 to January 2004 has been Rs 14,621 crore as against Rs 11,532 crore during the corresponding period of the previous fiscal — a growth of 27 per cent.

The gross import of all commodities during the 10-month period of 2003-04 fiscal was Rs 2,85,305 crore compared with Rs 2,40,966 crore during the previous corresponding period. Sensitive 300 tariff lines, however, constitute only 4.8 per cent and 5.1 per cent of the gross imports during the period under review of the fiscal years 2002-03 and 2003-04, respectively.

The major item that has contributed markedly to the growth is crude palm oil and its fractions. Import of spices, tea and coffee declined at the broad group level, while import of edible oil, cotton and silk, fruits and vegetables, rubber, milk and milk products, alcoholic beverages, small-scale industrial and other products saw some spurt during the period under review, a release said. Import of fruits and vegetables, for instance, went up by 7.3 per cent from Rs 1,577 crore to Rs 1,691.92 crore between these two periods, while rubber imports zoomed from Rs 63.99 crore to Rs 169.27 crore, marking a growth of 165 per cent. Alcoholic beverages import, too, registered a 122 per cent growth from Rs 20.56 crore to Rs 45.59 crore between these two periods.

In the edible oil segment, the import went up from Rs 7,1557 crore in 2002-03 to Rs 9,605 crore. But a crucial feature of edible oil import is that though import of crude oil has gone up by 20 per cent, import of refined palm oil and palmolein has increased by 121 per cent, even as the percentage share of crude to the total edible oil remains as high as 76 per cent, indicating a better utilisation of the processing capacity in the country. Imports of soya bean, crude oil, kernel/Babasu crude oil and sunflower crude oil have also gone up marginally.

Import of sensitive items from Indonesia, Malaysia, Argentina, the US, Egypt, Thailand, Greece, Cote D'voire, Guinea Bissau, Benin and Japan have gone up while those from the Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Mozambique and Australia have decreased.

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Import of sensitive items rises 27 pc

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