Infrastructure growth rebounds to 5.6% in Feb

New Delhi, March 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2006, 05:30am hrs
Infrastructure growth bounced back to 5.6% during February 2006 from a meagre 0.8% in the same month last year, largely on the back of a surge in power-generation and coal and cement production. The sectors that showed a dip in growth include steel and crude oil. The other four sectors - oil refining, coal, cement and power - showed improved production levels during the month.

However, cumulative growth during April-February 2005-06 was at 4.5% as against 5.8% in the corresponding period last fiscal, according to latest data released by the government on Wednesday.

During February, while cement production rose 16.3% compared to 1.3% in the same month a year ago, electricity generation increased by 9.0% as against a negative 0.8% in February 2005.

Coal production rose by a strong 9.3% from 2.2% a year ago and refinery output grew by 6.2% compared to a negative 3.5% growth in February 2005.

Crude oil production fell 2.0% during the month under review as against a decline of 4.9% in February 2005 0.6%, while finished steel production nosedived to a negative 1.1% as against a strong 6.0% growth in the same month last year.

The slowdown during April-February this fiscal was mainly on account on fall in crude oil production and refining output. Crude oil production declined for the eighth consecutive month this fiscal to 2.545 million tonnes in February 2006 as against 2.596 million tonnes (mt) a year ago. In fact, crude production has increased only once - that too just marginally 0.3% in June 2005 - so far this fiscal.

Cumulative crude oil production during the first eleven months this fiscal at 29.357 mt declined 5.5% against a growth of 1.9% in the same period last fiscal.

Refinery throughput during February 2006 stood at 10.072 mt as opposed to 9.484 mt a year ago. Cumulative refining production in April-February at 109.636 mt rose only 1.4% from 5.0% growth in the same period a year ago.

Coal output at 37.8 mt was higher than 34.5 mt production in the year ago month. Total production during April-February 2005-06 at 362.9 mt grew 6.4% from 7.6% in the same period last year. Finished steel production declined 1.1% to 3.280 mt during February compared to 3.179 mt a year ago.