New Delhi, Feb. 28: Falling coal, petroleum products and natural gas production dragged down core sector growth to 1.6 per cent in January from 8.3 per cent in the same month a year ago.
The index of eight core industries grew 2.1 per cent in December.
The eight core industries — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel, cement and electricity — have a combined weight of about 38 per cent in the index of industrial production (IIP).
Core sector growth was 2.4 per cent during the April-January period of this financial year compared with 6.9 per cent in the same period of 2012-13.
Coal output contracted 0.7 per cent in January. Petroleum refinery production registered a fall of 4.5 per cent and natural gas output shrank 5.2 per cent.
Steel output growth slowed to 3.4 per cent, while cement production eased to 1.5 per cent. Crude oil registered a growth of 3 per cent and electricity generation expanded 5.7 per cent.
Dashing hopes of a recovery, the IIP contracted 0.6 per cent in December mainly because of poor performance in the manufacturing sector.
The government has cleared seven infrastructure projects worth Rs 16,057 crore under the ministries of road and shipping.
The projects approved in the road sector include widening and strengthening of the Bikaner-Phalodi section of NH-15 in Rajasthan, the Delhi-Meerut Expressway and other connecting roads in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
The development of an additional liquid bulk terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port in Maharashtra has been approved.