India's trade deficit rose to $54.9 billion during the first five months of the current financial year (April-August 2011-12), up from $42.7 billion in the first four months (April-July 2011-12).
Sharing official data with the media, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar attributed the widening trade deficit to a decline in the growth momentum of exports even as the growth rate of imports more or less remained firm.
Khullar said exports of iron ore, fruits and vegetables from the country have also not been doing well. "Suddenly, imports are catching up with the exports," he said.
India's exports have recorded a robust growth of 44.2 per cent during August 2011, at $24.3 billion, although at a much slower pace compared with the more than 80 per cent growth recorded in July this year.
Exports from the country stood at $29.344 billion (Rs130,338.54 crore) during July 2011, up 81.79 per cent in dollar terms and 72.40 per cent higher in rupee terms compared with exports of $16.142 billion (Rs75,603.11 crore) during July 2010.
Imports into the country grew 41.8 per cent year-on-year to $38.4 billion in August 2011.