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Core Sector Growth Plummets To 2.2% In August

The average rate of growth of the infrastructure sector in the first five months ended August of the current financial year was down to 3.5 per cent as compared to 11.7 per cent in the same period in 1995-96.

The six infrastructure industries are power, coal, steel, crude petroleum, refinery products and cement. Industry-wise rates indicate that the sluggishness was primarily on account of the power and petroleum sectors.

In the power sector, hydel generation continued to be particularly laggard, though there has been some improvement in recent months. Hydel output declined by 15.8 per cent in April and fell by a further 19.4 per cent in June. Thereafter the decline in production slowed down to 1.1 per cent in the latest month.

The situation was erratic on the thermal power generation front with April registering a 9.4 per cent growth which decelerated to 2.8 per cent in June. Thereafter, it picked up to 5.6 per cent in July, but then dropped to 3.3 per cent in August.

The deceleration in crude production continued with production being 11.8 per cent lower in August, as against 7.2 per cent in April, and 12.6 per cent in July. This took the average deceleration in crude production for the first five months of the current financial down by 10.4 per cent for the corresponding period last year.

Production of refined petroleum products however experienced an upswing with a 15.6 per cent growth being registered in August. Production in April and May worked out to 12.8 per cent and 7.7 per cent respectively as compared to the same period last year. Thereafter, it dropped to 0.3 per cent in June and 0.8 per cent in July.

Coal production was down to 2.2 per cent in August as compared to 10.8 per cent in July, 6.6 per cent in June, 9.7 per cent in May and 15.4 per cent in April.

Steel production again witnessed deceleration with 6.8 per cent in April, 4 per cent May, 4.8 per cent in July and 2.1 per cent in August.

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First Published: Thu, September 19 1996. 00:00 IST