Imports of sensitive items, including fruits, vegetables and edible oils, went up by 42.8 per cent year-on-year to Rs.1,00,911 crore in 2011-12 from Rs.70,655 crore in the previous year.

Imports of fruit and vegetables soared by 70 per cent to Rs.8,929.24 crore from Rs.5,248.38 crore, Commerce Ministry said in a statement.

Items such as foodgrains, automobiles, milk and beverages fall in the sensitive category and the import of these goods are monitored by the government to see if there is any adverse impact on the domestic industry.

Imports of edible oils rose by 57.9 per cent to Rs.46,309 crore from Rs.29,319 crore. India is the world’s largest importer of edible oil and one of the largest consumers.

“Imports of both crude oil as well as refined oil have gone up by 53.5 per cent and 85.6 per cent, respectively. The increase in edible oil import is mainly due to substantial increase in import of crude palm oil and its fractions,” it said. Imports of items such as alcoholic beverages and spices also increased by 58.3 per cent and 54.2 per cent, respectively.

Imports of products of small scale industries such as umbrellas, locks, toys and glassware went up by 43 per cent year-on-year to Rs.2,205.75 crore.

Automobile imports jumped by 40 per cent to Rs.3,587 crore. Similarly, milk imports increased by 43.8 per cent.

“Imports of foodgrains have declined at broad group level. Imports of all other items such as edible oil, automobiles, pulses, fruits & vegetables, rubber, cotton & silk and spices have increased during the period,” it added.

Imports of foodgrains contracted 92.6 per cent.

Imports of sensitive items from Indonesia, China, Malaysia, Germany, Argentina, Korea, the U.S., Japan, Thailand, Canada, Myanmar, the U.K., Australia, have gone up while those from Brazil have gone down.

Imports of sensitive items constitute 4.3 per cent of gross imports during the period.