Infrastructure growth skids to 3.5%

By agencies   |   Friday, 27 May 2005, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: The new fiscal began on a dull note for infrastructure industries whose growth slowed down to 3.6 percent during April 2005 from 10.5 percent a year ago due to decline in petroleum refining and crude oil production.

Coal was the only exception among the six core sector industries by logging a higher growth of 8.2 percent last month as against 7.2 percent in April 2004, according to the figures released by the government today.

Petroleum refining production declined by 7.9 percent while production of crude petroleum decreased by 0.4 percent during the month compared to a growth of 13.3 percent and 9.4 percent in April 2004.

Electricity production slipped substantially in April 2005 posting a growth of a meager 2.9 percent compared to 10.5 percent in the year ago month.

Cement production grew by only 6.9 percent during the review month as against an impressive 16.5 percent while finished steel production rose 7.5 percent compared to 9.2 percent in April 2004.

The six infrastructure industries, which have a combined weightage of 26.68 percent in the Index of Industrial Production, had posted 4.4 percent growth in 2004-05 as against a high of 6.2 percent growth during 2003-04.

Crude oil production decreased to 2.802 million tonnes in April this year as against 2.814 million tonnes a year ago. Refinery throughput stood at 8.930 million tonnes as opposed to 9.694 million tonnes in April 2004.

Coal output at 30.5 million tonnes was better than 28.2 million tonnes production in the year ago month. The country generated 50.326 million units of electricity in April, marginally higher than 48.930 million units the previous year.

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