Riding on the back of strong showing by cement and steel sectors, the six core sectors grew by a handsome 9.4 per cent in January although corporates batted for continuation of the sops for another one year.

The six key sectors — crude, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel — grew by a meagre 2.2 per cent in January 2009. In April-January 2010, the growth was 5.4 per cent compared to 3 per cent in the year-ago period, an official statement said.

Finished steel and cement expanded by 16.2 per cent and 12.4 per cent, respectively, in January against 3.2 per cent and 8.3 per cent in the same month last year. Crude oil output registered a significant growth of 9.7 per cent during the month under review after contracting by 8.1 per cent in January last year. Petroleum refinery products expanded by 3.8 per cent after dipping by 1.3 per cent.

The significant growth in the core sector comes on the back of an impressive 16.8 per cent industrial expansion in December 2009.

As per the statement, coal production grew by 6 per cent, a tad lower than 6.7 per cent registered in January 2009 while electricity generation grew by 5.6 per cent against 1.8 per cent.

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