Core output dips for seventh consecutive month
The output of the eight core infrastructure sectors contracted for the seventh consecutive month, dropping 0.8 per cent in September, mainly because of a decline in production of crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and cement.
The production of the eight core sectors had contracted 5.1 per cent in September 2019, data released by the commerce and industry ministry showed on Thursday.
The decline in output during the month under review was the lowest since March.
Barring coal, electricity and steel, all sectors — crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser and cement — recorded negative growth in September 2020.
During April-September, the sectors’ output dropped 14.9 per cent compared with a growth of 1.3 per cent in the same period of the previous year.
The output of crude oil declined 6 per cent, while production was down 10.6 per cent for natural gas and 9.5 per cent for refinery products. Fertiliser output fell 0.3 per cent and cement production contracted 3.5 per cent.
Deficit at 115% of budget estimate
The government’s fiscal deficit rose to Rs 9.14 lakh crore, about 114.8 per cent of the annual budget estimate, during the first six months of the current financial year, mainly on account of poor revenue realisation. In absolute terms, the deficit was Rs 9,13,993 crore. The deficit at the end of the first six months of the previous financial year was 92.6 per cent of the annual target.