Sluggish growth in infrastructure sector

NEW DELHI OCT. 22. Infrastructure growth remained sluggish in the first six months of the current fiscal (April to September) at 4.2 per cent as against 6.5 per cent last year despite a better performance by the petroleum refinery sector. Among the sectors that continued to show slower growth than last year are crude oil, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel. Performance during September this year is better with 5.9 per cent growth compared to 2.2 per cent in the same month last year.

According to the latest data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry, crude oil has been the biggest drag on overall growth with a negative rise of 1.4 per cent during April to September (2003-04). This is against a 5.3 per cent growth recorded over the same period in the previous fiscal. Crude oil output during September alone has been a marginal 0.3 per cent though it is higher than the 0.1 per cent recorded in the same month last year.

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