In a bid to capture a more representative picture of the core industries and assess their weight on the overall industrial output more accurately, the government is set to have a new infrastructure index series. The new series would be marked by a change in the base year from 1993-94 to 2004-05 and the addition of two more sectors ? fertiliser and natural gas ? to the present set of six industries captured in in the index, official sources told FE.
The move is also in line with the new wholesale price index (WPI) series introduced last September which shifted the base year from 1993-94 to 2004-05 and expanded the commodity basket from the previous 435 items to 676 to capture the change in consumption pattern. The frequency of the release of the WPI numbers was also changed ? headline inflation data is now released on a monthly basis while the data on more volatile items like food and fuel are released every week. A similar change in the index of industrial production (IIP) is also on the cards, shifting the base year to 2004-05 and rationalising the number of items.
According to a senior commerce ministry official, fertiliser and natural gas are being included in the index on account of their increased relevance to the overall industrial performance. The six core industries currently captured in the index are crude oil, petroleum refinery products, coal and mining, electricity, cement and finished steel.
The official added that with the proposed change in the index, the core sector would have an increased weight on the IIP from the current 26.7% to over 30%.
On the timeline for adopting the new core sector series, the official said: ?We are ready with the new series, but the new IIP series is yet to come into force and is under the approval of the committee of secretaries. As soon as the CSO adopts it ? which is likely by June 10 ? we shall also come out with the new core sector series. If the new IIP takes time, the core sector series might also be deferred to May-June.?