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Infrastructure growth in February at 5.6 pc

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April-Feb growth dips to 4.5 pc on crude, refining output

Our Bureau

New Delhi, March 29

Infrastructure growth surged 5.6 per cent in February compared with the same month a year ago, higher than the 3.3 per cent year-on-year growth recorded in January, according to Government data released on Wednesday.

However, cumulative growth during April-February this fiscal was at 4.5 per cent as against 5.8 per cent in the corresponding period during the last financial year.

Core sectors

The core sector growth in February could have been even higher but for a decline in steel and crude oil production. The other four sectors oil refining, coal, cement and power showed improved performance. While cement production rose 16.3 per cent compared to 1.3 per cent, electricity generation increased 9 per cent as against a negative 0.8 per cent in February 2005. Coal production rose 9.3 per cent from 2.2 per cent and refinery output grew 6.2 per cent compared to a negative 3.5 per cent growth last year.

Crude oil production fell 2 per cent, while finished steel production fell to a negative 1.1 per cent as against a strong 6 per cent growth recorded in the same month last year.

Reasons for slowdown

The slowdown in core sector growth during April-February this fiscal was mainly on account of a fall in crude oil production and refining output. Crude oil production declined for the eighth consecutive month this fiscal to 2.545 million tonnes in February 2006 as against 2.596 mt a year ago.

Cumulative crude oil production during the first eleven months of this fiscal at 29.357 mt was down 5.5 per cent, against a growth of 1.9 per cent in the same period last fiscal.

Refinery throughput in February 2006 stood at 10.072 mt (9.484 mt). Cumulative refining production in April-February at 109.636 mt rose only 1.4 per cent from 5 per cent growth in the same period a year ago.

Coal output was 37.8 mt (34.5 mt). Total production during April-February 2005-06 at 362.9 mt grew 6.4 per cent from 7.6 per cent in the same period last year.

Finished steel production declined 1.1 per cent to 3.28 mt in February (3.179 mt).

Cumulative steel production during April-February grew 5.3 per cent to 38.057 mt as against a growth of 7.5 per cent. during the corresponding period a year ago.Cement production grew by 16.3 per cent to 12.757 mt as against 10.971 mt in February 2005.

Total production so far this fiscal rose 11.9 per cent to 133.158 mt.

The country generated 50.137 billion units of electricity in February as against 46.015 billion units a year ago.

Total power generation at 562.702 billion units in April-February this fiscal grew 5.3 per cent, slightly lower than 5.4 per cent in the year-ago period.

Related Stories:
Industrial production index up 0.8% in Jan
Core sector growth slows to 3.3% in Jan

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 30, 2006)
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