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Infrastructure sector posts 5.9% growth in April

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, May 22

THERE is some good news for the economy, with the six `core' infrastructure industries registering an overall growth rate of 5.9 per cent growth during April 2002, as against minus 0.3 per cent in the same period the previous fiscal.

According to official data released here today, the 5.9 per cent growth was mainly powered by cement and crude petroleum. Production of crude in April 2002, at 28.12 lakh tonnes (l.t), was 10.1 per cent higher than the 25.53 l.t figure for April 2001 and 25.55 l.t for April 2000. Output of refined petro-products, too, rose by 7.8 per cent from 73.68 l.t in April 2001 to 79.41 l.t in April 2002, while amounting to 74.75 l.t in April 2000.

But it was in cement that the growth was really impressive. Cement production, which went up by 3.6 per cent from 85.90 l.t in April 2000 to 88.95 l.t in April 2001, registered a further growth of 10.6 per cent to touch 98.37 l.t in April 2002.

Among other industries, production of coal during April 2002, at 254 l.t, stood 6.3 per cent higher than 239 l.t in April 2001 and 234 l.t in April 2000, while finished steel output rose by 2.6 per cent from 23.87 l.t in April 2001 to 24.50 l.t in April 2002. However, production of finished steel was below the 25.06 l.t achieved in April 2000.

The country's total electricity production during April 2002 was assessed at 43.342 billion units, which was 4.9 per cent higher than the 41.307 billion units generated during the same month last year and the 40.705 billion units of April 2000.

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