The import of India has increased significantly after independence. There is being more emphasis on industrialization after Second Five Year Plan. Industrialization needs import of large quantity of machineries and petroleum products.
There has been import of chemical fertilizers and insecticides to the agricultural sector due to effectiveness of Green Revolution. It means in different plan periods, where has been increase in the quantity of import to make different plans successful.
Structure of import helps us to know the different types of commodities imported by a country. Due to the implementation of different five year plans, there has been significant change in the structure of the import of India.
The chief import of India was food grains and consumer good during first five year plan and before it. Due to Green Revolution is agricultural sector and establishment of different industries, the importance of food grains and consumer goods has declined in the import structure of India.
The chief import of India is capital goods (metallic goods, machines, transport equipment, electrical equipments etc.) and petroleum goods. The share of capital goods was more in the import of the year 1987-88 and next to it like diamond, valuable and semi-valuable stone, iron and steel, edible oil, metals, chemical fertilizers and fertilizers were also imported. Sugar, papers and wood board and man-made fiber goods were also imported.
The above analysis speaks about the role of different Five Year Plans in the import structure. The effort to industrially develop our country is reflected in the import of capital goods, iron and steel and other metals of our country. Again it is to be noted that there is no import-of industrial consumer goods. It shows that we have developed a lot in the development of consumer goods industries.
Export or import helps us to know about import partners of India. Prior to independence, India had got trade relationship with England and Commonwealth countries whose number was less. Out of all these countries, England was our main import partner.
India has now established trade relationship with all the countries of the world after independence. So the source of import for India has increased. The role of England, as a source of import for India has declined. The importance of Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), European Economic Community including West Germany, the U.S.A. and Japan has increased as a source of import for India. The import of India has also increased from the previous U.S.S.R. and east European socialistic countries.
The import of India was more from Common Wealth countries except West Germany during 1987-88. Next to these Common Wealth countries there were petroleum exporting countries from which India had imported petroleum products and their position was second. Except these countries, the import of India was also more from Japan, the U.S.A., other European countries, the U. S. S. R. and east European socialistic countries. It shows that the sources of import for India are many.