Exports grew by 10.1 percent year-on-year to USD 25.4 billion, while imports increased by 20.3 percent in January, Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar on Thursday said.
Exporting sectors which registered healthy growth in April-January include engineering and petroleum.
Engineering and petroleum exports grew by 21 percent and 51.1 percent to USD 49.7 billion and USD 48.9 billion, respectively.
Gems and jewellery exports increased by 33 percent to USD 37 billion, readymade garments by 21.5 percent, electronics by 13.4 percent, drugs by 21.1 percent, leather by 23.4 percent and marine products by 31.6 percent.
On the other hand, imports of petroleum products increased by 38.8 percent to USD 117.9 billion, gold and silver by 46.6 percent to USD 50 billion, machinery (25.8 percent), electronics (22.9 percent), coal (69 percent), iron and steel (12 percent), ores and scraps (43.9 percent).
Commenting on the fiscal year 2012-13, Khullar said that due to reasons like prevailing uncertainty in the US and Europe economy, that year would also be difficult for India's exports.
"Consumers and investors confidence are also not booming. My fiscal room for manouver has gone. You have a tight fiscal situation, who is going to give you sops. If you will manage 20 percent growth in 2012-13, it will be damn good," he said.
For the current fiscal as well, he said at time when the forecast for global trade growth is in single digit, India's exports growth is good.
FIEO President Rafeeque Ahmed too said that these figures clearly indicate that 2012 would be a difficult year for exports in view of growing uncertainty in the Euro Zone, slacking of demand in other advance economies and third country effect on our exports to emerging economies.
Ahmed suggested the government to provide interest subvention of over 3 percent to bring the export credit at affordable rates.