The country's eight key infrastructure industries recorded an output growth of 0.5 per cent in January, significantly lower than the 6.4 per cent growth in the same month last year. The performance was weighed down by the fall in output of crude oil, refinery products, natural gas and steel.

In December 2011, the output of eight core infrastructure industries grew 3.1 per cent. The eight key infrastructure industries are coal, cement, steel, natural gas, electricity, petroleum refinery products and crude oil.

For April-January 2012, the cumulative growth of the eight core industries, with 2004-05 as base year, was 4.1 per cent against 5.7 per cent growth during the same period in the previous year.

Coal production recorded a growth of 7.5 per cent in January 2012, compared with negative growth of 1.3 per cent in January 2011. However, in cumulative terms, coal production had contracted 1.5 per cent during April-January 2012 compared with its growth at 0.6 per cent during the same period of 2010-11.

Crude oil output contracted 2 per cent in January 2012 compared with 10.8 per cent growth in January 2011. Natural gas production registered a negative growth of 8.9 per cent in January (-6.3 per cent in January 2011). Petroleum refinery products' production declined 4.6 per cent in January 2012 compared with a growth of 8.7 per cent in January 2011, official data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry on Tuesday showed.

However, the overall petroleum refinery product output does not include the output of Reliance's SEZ refinery unit at Jamnagar as the crude throughput is not reported by it. It has refining capacity of 29 million tonnes.

Steel production contracted by 2.9 per cent in January 2012 against 8.7 per cent growth in January 2011. Cement production recorded a 10.6 per cent growth in January, much higher than the 1.8 per cent growth in January 2011.

Electricity generation grew 10.6 per cent, higher than 2.4 per cent in January last year.

krsrivats@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 28, 2012)
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