H1 FY05-06: Infrastructure puts up good show

Mumbai, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 05:56am hrs
The performance of the energy sector in terms of productivity has been dismal in the first half of the current fiscal while that of infrastructure has been commendable.

Both coal and crude oil production and power generation fell in the reporting period as compared to the same period previous year. On the other hand, as a result of increased freight traffic on railway and cargo traffic, the growth of the transportation accelerated.

According to a study by Mumbai-based economic think tank, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), in the first half of 2005-06 coal production grew by a slower 5.3%, while crude oil production fell by 4.9%. In the corresponding period previous year, the respective growth stood at 6.35% and 4.3%. To make matters worse, power generation grew at a dismal 1.9% during April-October 2005, as against 5.3% in the same period of last year.

The infrastructure sector, which mainly comprises road, railways and the port sector, fared well, according to CMIE. During the reporting period, freight traffic on railway was up by a healthy 10.1%, cargo traffic at major ports went up by 13.5%. Growth in these sectors accelerated during the period compared to increases of 6.9% and 9.9%, respectively, in the first half of 2004-05. Air traffic growth, however, fell to 17% during FY 05-06, as compared to 23%.

For the energy sector, the decline in crude oil production has largely been due to a fall in production of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), whose production fell by 7.4% to in H1 FY 05 as compared to 4.4% increase in the same period of last year.