India's foodgrain import soared to Rs. 31.28 crore and that of milk and dairy products to Rs. 204.65 crore in April-May this year from only Rs. 1.22 crore and Rs. 30.08 crore, respectively in the year-ago period, according to the latest official data. Items such as foodgrains, automobiles, milk and beverages fall in the sensitive category and these imports are monitored by the government to see if there is any adverse impact on the domestic industry.

Import of the sensitive items went up by 14.2 per cent to Rs. 10,007.30 crore during April-May 2010-11 from Rs. 8,760.39 crore in the same period a year-ago.

In the first two months of the current fiscal, imports of items such as automobiles, alcoholic beverages and rubber too increased by 131.6 per cent, 96.7 per cent and 83.4 per cent, respectively. However, imports of pulses and tea and coffee contracted by 42.9 per cent (Rs. 862.92 crore) and 15.8 per cent (Rs. 33.52 crore), during the period under review.

As per the data, the increase in imports of fruits and vegetables was 16.5 per cent to Rs. 994.18 crore. Food inflation rose to 11.4 per cent for the week ended July 31, mainly due to high prices of fruits and vegetables.

Import of sensitive items amounted to 4 per cent of the country's total imports during the period against 4.6 per cent in the previous year.

Total imports during the period were valued at Rs. 2,47,211 crore.

Imports of sensitive items from China, Brazil, Germany, the U.S., the U.K., South Korea, Thailand and New Zealand have gone up while those from Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Japan and Australia declined.

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