Prepared by Ranil Salgado and Alexander Hammer. Data presented in this chapter reflect official data releases through mid-May 2001.
The surcharge was removed in January 2001.
Aggregate quarterly trade data on a balance-of-payments basis are available from the RBI with a lag of one quarter. Aggregate monthly trade data on a customs basis, which excludes military and other noncustoms imports, are available from the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics with about a lag of one month. Composition of trade and the direction of trade are available with longer lags.
Staff estimates, calculated based on the import growth of partner countries weighted by India’s exports to those countries, indicate that partner country nominal imports grew 6½ percent and 13 percent, respectively, in 1999/00 and 2000/01.
On a customs basis, non-oil imports fell in 2000/01.
The local currency redemption of NRI accounts was included as private transfer receipts in the balance-of-payments statistics for data starting in 1996/97.
Prior to October 1997, gold and silver were imported into India through the “baggage route” (where nonresident or returning Indians were allowed to bring up to 10 kilograms into the country) or through special import licenses. Imports through the baggage route were recorded in the balance-of-payments statistics both as a noncustoms import and as a private transfer—so they had no overall impact on the balance of payments since the foreign exchange used to purchase the gold was earned outside India. Since their liberalization, these imports have increasingly taken place through the normal customs route, resulting in an increase in customs imports, and because of the accounting methodology, a decrease in both noncustoms imports and private transfers.
Data on FII inflows are available from the RBI on a monthly basis with a lag of about three months and from the SEBI on a daily basis.
See A.T. Kearney, FDI Confidence Index, February 2001, Vol.4 and A.T. Kearney, FDI Confidence Audit: India. The index was based on a survey of the world’s 1,000 largest companies, while the audit was based on private interviews with senior executives in these companies.
Net external borrowing includes external assistance, commercial borrowing, and short-term credits.
Increased external borrowing was partly offset in the capital account by outflows of NRI deposits in the third quarter, possibly reflecting shifts in these deposits to the IMD scheme.
Short-term debt on a residual-maturity basis in India may be underestimated as NRI deposits are calculated on a contracted-maturity basis.
While external debt statistics are now generally available on a quarterly basis, short-term external debt on a residual-maturity basis is estimated only on an annual basis.
For a more detailed description of trade policy reforms through 2000, see India—Recent Economic Developments, (IMF Staff Country Report No. 00/155, November 2000).
In early May 2001, the Indian government announced that the import of 300 consumer goods—including edible oils, toys, and liquor—would be restricted to only 11 entry points from over 200 previously. This restriction, however, was removed by the end of May.
These items accounted for less than 1 percent of tariff lines, but included goods such as sugar, edible oils, rice, and wheat.