Infrastructure growth fell in first half of fiscal: Government

New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) India’s eight core industries, representing major infratsructure sectors, grew at 2.3 percent in the April-September period of the current fiscal, compared to a rate of 5.3 percent in the same period of the previous fiscal, the government said on Friday.

“The decrease in growth rate in this period can be attributed to lower growth in electricity, coal and cement sectors and negative growth in steel and natural gas sectors,” the finance ministry said in its Mid-year Economic Review tabled in parliament.

“Refinery products registered positive growth, crude oil sector has shown marginal increase in growth,” it added regarding the first half of the fiscal.

India on Friday sharply cut its growth forecast by as much as one percentage point to 7-7.5 percent for the fiscal, cautioning that challenges remain despite progress, while also sounding circumspect on meeting the fiscal deficit target of 3.9 percent of GDP.

The Economic Survey presented in February this year had estimated growth at 8.1-8.5 percent.

The review raised questions over demand in the near-term citing declining nominal GDP growth, and made a case for reassessment of fiscal and monetary policy.

Earlier this month, the Central Statistics Office (CSO), which releases the data on the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), revised its September and July estimates upwards.

The revised figures for September showed a growth of 3.84 percent from a rise of 3.6 that it had earlier released in November.

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