Infrastructure growth improves

NEW DELHI, JULY 20. The infrastructure sector grew by 8 per cent during the first quarter of this financial year (April - June) with the maximum output in the petroleum refining industry.

This is marginally higher than last year when this sector recorded a growth of 7 per cent over the same period.

According to a review of production performance for six infrastructure industries, the output in this sector grew by 8.4 per cent in June. The industries covered by the review are electricity, coal, steel, crude petroleum, petroleum refinery products and cement.

These account for a total weight of 26.6 per cent in the index of industrial production.

Petroleum refinery products have shown a growth of 34.5 per cent, evidently reflecting the increased refinery capacity in the country following the commissioning of the Reliance Petroleum unit.

Production of steel and coal has also risen by a healthy 11.5 and 11.4 per cent respectively. Electricity and cement production, in contrast, has increased only by 4.7 and 3.9 per cent. Crude petroleum sector, however, recorded a negative growth of -2.5 per cent.

Similar trends are visible in the data for June when oil refinery products showed a 38.5 per cent growth. Steel production rose by 10.6 per cent while coal and cement output increased uniformly by 7.2 per cent.

Electricity output grew by 4.7 per cent during the month but crude petroleum output rose only by 0.5 per cent.