Eight core sector industries’ growth has slowed down to 2.9 per cent in March 2013 from 3 per cent in the same month last year due to drop in production of coal and crude oil.
“The marginal decline in growth in March was on account of negative growth witnessed in the production of natural gas and low growth recorded in the production of coal and crude oil,” an official release said today.
During 2012-13,expansion of the eight industries crude oil,natural gas,cement,coal,electricity,steel,petroleum refinery products and fertilisers — was down at 2.6 per cent against 5 per cent in 2011-12.
The eight industries have a weightage of 37.9 per cent in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
Production of natural gas contracted by 17.7 per cent in the month under review. Coal and crude oil output growth dropped to 0.3 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively,against 7.3 per cent and (-) 2.9 per cent respectively in March 2012.
Cement production growth slowed to 6.6 per cent in the reported period against 7.1 per cent in March 2012.
However,petroleum refinery and fertiliser production grew by 5.6 per cent and 3.6 per cent in March 2013 against 1.6 per cent and 1.5 per cent,respectively,in the year-ago period.
Steel output increased by 6.6 per cent from 6.2 per cent in March 2012. Electricity generation grew by 3 per cent from 2.8 per cent.
The growth of eight core sector industries had contracted by 2.5 per cent in February,the first time in 2012-13.
Push to infrastructure sector: 2 new ports to be set up
In a major push to infrastructure sector,the Union Cabinet will consider tomorrow a proposal to set up two big ports with an investment of Rs 16,000 crore,a step being taken after a few decades.
Along with the proposal for the ports,the Cabinet will also consider a proposal of the Railway Ministry for restarting two large modern locomotive factories in Madhepura and Marhowra in Bihar at an investment of about Rs 20,000 crore.
The two ports — one each in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh — will add the capacity by 100 million metric tonnes,sources said.
The ports,to be operated in public-private-partnership mode,are intended to cater to the increased import of coal and oil besides boosting local economy and jobs.
At present there are 12 major ports in India Mumbai,Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT),Kolkata (with Haldia),Chennai,Cochin,Paradip,New Mangalore,Marmagao,Ennore,Tuticorin,Kandla and Visakhapatanam.
Cargo traffic at ports during the six-month period ending September 2012 grew by just 1.8 per cent to 455.8 million tonnes due to decline in shipments handled at major ports.
Cargo traffic or the goods transported for commercial gain increased to 455.8 million tonnes during the period April-September,2012 and from 448 million tonnes during April-September,2011 period.
The proposal for locomotive factories was approved in 2006 but was held up because of various reasons,the sources said,adding all the issues have now been resolved.
The project,to be operated in PPP mode,will kick off in July with invitation for bids and award of contracts in September,they said.
These factories will produce high class electrical and diesel locomotives for the railways.