Dec 29 - Jan 04, 2009

First five months of current fiscal year witnessed flight of $15.23 billion from the country in lieu of payments made against classified importation as opposed to $12.52 billion in the corresponding period of last fiscal year.
Followed by food, agriculture and chemical goods, textile, transport and allied items, different financial and other services, and petroleum products and machinery have mainly escalated import bill July-Nov FY09. While in aggregate $5.68 billion was paid for importing crude and petroleum products, $2.27 billion was transferred across border for purchase of power generating, textile, construction and mining, electrical, and agriculture machineries and for importing telecom apparatuses including mobile phones.
During the period under review mobile phone import declined sharply to $84 million from $185 million in the same period of last fiscal year. Overall import in telecom sector was decelerated which is evident from the fact that in contrast to its earlier import bill of $584 million July-Nov FY09 import for telecom amounted $319 million. Similarly, a slight decrease was registered in agriculture machineries import which came down to $49 million from $65 million. Alternatively, in machinery group cumulative importation of all other heads tended to increase import payment, such as power generating machinery to $483 million from $356 million; textile machinery to $193 million from $166 million; construction and mining machinery to $45 million in July-Nov FY09 from $28 million in the similar period FY08.
According to provisional statistics compiled by the State bank, food group caused drawdown of $1.85 billion from foreign reserves during the initial five months of current financial year as opposed to $1.13 billion in corresponding months of last fiscal year. A staggering rise was recorded in import payment against raw wheat which worth $678 million was imported in five months whereas only $16 million was spent on its import previously. Except pulses, soyabean oil, sugar, and milk all other food items depicted rise in import bill in July-Nov FY09 over July-Nov FY08. Pulses payment was cut down to $58 million from $75 million, soyabean oil to $16 million from $36 million, sugar to $3 million from $7 million, and milk and cream to $29 million from $33 million. Specifically dry fruits soared import bill to $23 million from $21 million, tea to $92 million from $68 million, spices to $22.8 million from $22.6 million, and palm oil to $708 million from $517 million.
Agriculture products were important stimulants to outflow of reserves in first five months of the current fiscal year. In this side, total import amounted to $2.33 billion little up from $2.10 billion earlier. Although fertilizer bill declined more than double to $157 million from $377 million insecticides, plastic materials, medicinal and other products caused surge in import payment to $39 million from $37 million, to $541 million from $507 million, to $183 million from $140 million, and to $1.41 billion from $1.03 billion, respectively.
Some of textile items continued to come from foreign markets and their inclination towards importation in the period under review was relatively high. As compared to previous bill of $555 million textile items imported from outside the country raised the bill to $593 million in July-Nov FY09. Mainly, synthetic fibre and worn clothing pushed up textile group import bill in the period. Of that, import payment against synthetic fibre was precipitously raised to $137 million from an earlier $94 million. More in percentage wise worn clothing soared bill to $7 million from $2 million. Apart from them, raw cotton and synthetic and artificial silk yarn mitigated dollars outflow to $275 million from $279 million and to $95 million from $104 million respectively.
In addition, reduction in import payment was also registered in transport and allied products. During July-Nov FY09 import of such products aggregately cost government $473 million considerable decrease from $507 million in the similar period FY08. Separately, complete knocked down kits of buses, trucks, heavy vehicles, motor cycles and cars increased burden of payments to $271 million from $251 million. Aircraft, ships and boats also jacked up the bill to $90 million from an earlier $59 million. Drastic fallout in import of complete built units trimmed the load of import payments to $60 million from $138 million.
Significant hop in insurance and freight services pulled up the payment to $1.2 billion in the first five months of this fiscal year from $997 million in a comparable interval of preceding fiscal year. While zero data was calculated for gold import in metal group cumulative $856 million was spent in comparison to $904 million last fro imports. Apparently, in duality iron and steel were metals creating hike in import payment to $508 million from $473 million. Import bill of iron and steel scrap plunged to $182 million from $194 million. Payment against aluminum and wrought went flipping down to $47 million from $74 million. Likely, bill of all other metals and artificial dropped to $117 million from $162 million.
The lowest impact exerted on July-Nov FY09 import payment was of $285 million by rubber crude, rubber tyres and tubes, wood and cork, jute, and paper and paper board. Jute import was almost doubled during the period as its payments showed jump to $26 million from an earlier $14 million. A drop in import payment of rubber tyres and tubes to $39 million from $56 million was catalogued in the statistics.
Petroleum products and food items were the real stirrer behind arousal of import payments albeit cost cutting measures brooded over inputs essential for manufacturing industry throughout the period.