Fine wine aficionados and automobile lovers appear to be cashing in on the rupee's rise to satiate their passions.
Official data released on Wednesday showed that India's import of automobiles went up by whopping 77.3 per cent and alcoholic beverages by 32.8 per cent in rupee terms during April-July 2007-08.
Overall imports have shown a rising trend during the current financial year, largely due to high imports of non-oil items.
Non-oil imports have grown by 42.85 per cent higher so far this year, compared with last year.
Data on imports of sensitive items showed automobile import increased to Rs 350.52 crore from Rs 197.75 crore, while that of alcoholic beverages rose to Rs 41.78 crore from Rs 31.45 crore. Imports of sensitive items from Indonesia, US, Brazil, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Australia, among others have risen, while those from Argentina, China, Ivory Coast, Malaysia and Sri Lanka have shown a decrease.
The total import of sensitive items rose marginally by 0.9 per cent during the period to Rs 6,356 crore, as compared with Rs 6,301 crore in the same period last year.
Trade analysts said that the rise in the import of automobiles and alcoholic beverages could be because of the lower cost in terms of rupee even despite a high effective import duty.
However, imports of milk and milk products dropped significantly, by 65.1 per cent, to Rs 6.33 crore from Rs 18.12 crore. Fruits and vegetables declined by 13.7 per cent to Rs 994.69 crore from Rs 1,152.22 crore.
Tea and coffee imports dropped by 17.4 per cent and spices by 0.4 per cent. There was a marginal increase in edible oil imports by 0.1 per cent, while cotton and silk increased by 13.2 per cent. There was a dip in the import of wheat flour, sugar and cigar as well.