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Core growth glows

New Delhi, March 31: The core sector grew 4.5 per cent in February against 1.3 per cent in the same month a year ago on the back of higher electricity, oil refining and steel production.

The sector grew 1.6 per cent in January.

However, in the April-February period of this fiscal, core growth slowed to 2.6 per cent from 6.4 per cent in the same period of 2012-13.

The eight core industries — fertilisers, cement, steel, electricity, crude oil, coal, petroleum refinery products and natural gas — have a combined weight of about 38 per cent in the index of industrial production.

Electricity generation grew exponentially by 10.4 per cent in February against a contraction of 3.7 per cent in the same month last year.

Output of coal and crude oil registered a growth of 0.1 per cent and 1.9 per cent against (-) 6.1 per cent and (-) 4 per cent, respectively.

“The new government needs to initiate a comprehensive review of not only the policies but also processes that govern the core industries,” D.S. Rawat, secretary-general of Assocham, said.

Steel production increased 4.8 per cent against 4.7 per cent a year ago, while the expansion in cement production slowed to 2.3 per cent.

Natural gas registered a contraction of 4.4 per cent, while the production of refinery products expanded 3.2 per cent.

Showing a ray of hope, industrial output entered the positive territory and recorded 0.1 per cent growth in January after contracting for three months in a row.

 
 
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