Six core industries grew 6.6 percent in December


New Delhi : Six industries, with significant weightage in India’s index of industrial output, grew at a rate of 6.6 percent in December, compared to 6.2 percent in the year-ago period, according to official data released Monday.

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The index of six core industries, with 26.7 percent weightage in the index of industrial production, is a barometer for measuring infrastructure building in the country.

Electricity generation, the largest constituent of the index of six core industries, registered a growth of 4.3 percent in December compared to a growth rate of 6.6 percent in December 2009.

The second biggest sector in the index, steel, saw output increasing by 11.2 percent in the month under review, while crude oil production in the country rose 15.8 percent and production of petroleum refining products went up by 8.3 percent.

Coal mining grew by 3 percent in December but cement production dipped by 2.2 percent.

In the current fiscal till December, the six core industries registered a growth of 5.3 percent against 4.7 percent during the corresponding period of the 2009-10.

India has ambitious investment plans to improve its infrastructure — a key deficiency cited by investors and domestic businesses and economists.

The country expects to invest about $500 billion by the end of the current five year plan (March 2012) and double it to $1 trillion for the next five year plan, building capacity in crucial sectors like road, railways and power generation.