This was due to the f all in growth of petroleum, oil and lubricant (POL.) imports by 7.0 per cent and lion – POL imports by 4.2 per cent. POL import growth was low mainly due to decline in import price of the Indian crude oil import basket by 16.5 per cent despite the increase in quantity by 7.7 per cent.
(ii) Imports of non-ferrous metals occupy second position in total import expenditure. In 2007-08 imports of non-ferrous metals (also includes data on gold and silver) stood al $21,336 million which was 8.9 per cent of total import expenditure.
(iii) Import expenditure on non-electrical machinery, apparatus, and appliances rose considerably from $ 341 million in 1970-71 to $ 19,661 million in 2007-08. In percentage terms, its share was 15.8% in 1970-71 while in 1980s and 1990s; it has varied between 8% to 12%. In 2007-08, the share of this item in total import has been 8.2%.
(iv) Due to increasing demand imports of pearls, precious and semi-precious stones have increased significantly. This item accounted for 11.3 per cent of total import expenditure in 1993-94 occupying second position. In 2007-08 it stood at $7,975 million thus, constitutes 3.3 per cent of total import expenditure.
(v) Due to increasing domestic demand, edible oils also had to be imported on a considerable scale. In 1999-2000. Imports of edible oils were as high as $ 1.857 million accounting for 3.7% of total import. In 2007-08 imports of edible oils were of $ 2,558 million which was 1%’ of total imports.
(vi) Despite increasing domestic production of iron and steel, substantial quantities continue to be imported as domestic production has failed to keep pace with the rising demand. While in absolute terms, the imports of iron and steel rose from $194 million in 1970-71 to $ 1,178 million in 1990-91.In percentage terms they have fallen from 9.0% in 1970-71 to 4.9% in 1992-93. In 2007-08, it accounted for 3.6 per cent of total import expenditure.
(vii) Imports of fertilizers have increased considerably from $ 113 million in 1970-71 to $ 1,683 million in 1995-96. This is due to the implementation of new agricultural strategy and increasing prices. In percentage terms, the share of fertilizers in total imports has varied between 3.5% to 6% over the period J970-71 lo 1995-96. However, subsequently, the share of fertilizers has declined and stood at only 2.3 in 2007-08.
(viii) Due to increasing domestic demand, food grains have had to be imported on a large scale. Its share in total imports was 16 per cent in 1960-61. Despite green revolution, share of food grains import was 13 percent in 1970-71 and 2.5.5 per cent in 1975-76. Subsequently due to increase domestic production imports declined. Food grains worth $334 million were imported in 1992-93. In 2007-08, imports of food grains were merely $45 million.
(ix) Imports of commercial services have become important item accounting $52.5 billion in 2007-08 though its growth moderated to 18.5 per cent in 2007-08. Business service is the most important category of service in imports followed by transportation and travel.