The country's overall imports grew by 10.16 per cent with capital machinery registering the highest growth at 24.01 per cent in fiscal 2006 over that of the previous one.
The letters of credit (LCs) against imports worth US$ 13.949 billion were settled in fiscal year (FY) 2005-2006 compared to $12.663 billion in the previous fiscal.
"The growth in imports is reasonable for developing countries like Bangladesh," a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE Wednesday.
He also said the overall import situation was 'good' in the last fiscal.
However, different imported consumer goods were costlier in the local market in the last fiscal because of depreciation of Bangladesh Taka (BDT) against US dollar, sources in the market said.
The exchange rate of BDT against the greenback stood at Tk 69.73 at the end of June 06, against Tk 69.68 at the end of May, 2006. The local currency depreciated by 8.58 per cent in June, 2006 on a year-to-year basis.
According to the BB's statistics, the import of capital machinery, in terms of settlement of LCS, reached $1.347 billion in the last fiscal year as against $1.086 billion during the previous one.
The central bank statistics also showed that LCs worth $1.493 billion were opened for import of capital machinery in the last fiscal year against $1.508 billion in the previous fiscal.
The import of fuel oil and petroleum products grew by 22.53 per cent and industrial raw materials by 9.94 per cent during the period under review.
The import of petroleum products reached $1.928 billion in the last fiscal compared to $1.573 billion in the previous fiscal.
Besides, the import of intermediate goods grew by 11.20 per cent to $1.188 billion in the last fiscal against $1.068 billion of the previous fiscal.
Sources, however, said the import of capital machinery, petroleum products and industrial raw materials maintained an upward trend while that of consumer items including foodgrains should a downward trend during the last fiscal.
The imports of foodgrains and other consumer goods declined by 25.48 per cent and 14.06 per cent respectively last fiscal.