India trade gap at highest-ever $185 bn
While gold and silver imports grew by 44.4 per cent year - on-year to USD 61.5 billion, crude oil imports went up by 46.9 per cent to USD 155.6 billion in 2011-12.
Khullar said exports growth for the entire was "somehow managed"
However, 2012-13 would again be a difficult year, he cautioned. He said early policy decisions on coal, fertiliser and edible oil are needed in the wake of rising import bill on these heads.
During 2011-12, coal, fertiliser and edible oil imports grew by 80.3 per cent, 59 per cent and 47.5 per cent to USD 17.6 billion, USD 11 billion and USD 9.7 billion respectively.
"Coal imports expanded significantly. Now it requires decision on the domestic policy front in terms of coal production. Similarly edible oil, fertiliser imports have expanded significantly and these require domestic policy decisions," he added.
From a peak of 82 per cent in July, export growth slipped to 44.25 per cent in August, 36.36 per cent in September and 10.8 per cent in October, 3.8 per cent in November 2011. However, exports grew 6.7 per cent in December and over 10 per cent in January and 4.3 per cent in February.
Exporting sectors which registered healthy growth in 2011-12 include engineering, petroleum and gems and jewellery.
Engineering, petroleum and gems and jewellery exports grew by 16.9 per cent, 38.5 per cent and 13.3 per cent to USD 58.2 billion, USD 57.5 billion and USD 45.9 billion respectively.
Readymade garments exports increased by 18 per cent to
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