Six infrastructure sectors log 7% growth in October

The October data for six industries — crude oil, petroleum refinery products, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel — reflected a bounce back from September when growth in these sectors had plunged to 2.7 per cent against 4.3 per cent growth in corresponding period in 2009-10.

Core Infrastructure industries that have a weight of 26.7 per cent in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), is expected to show a positive impact on the October IIP, likely to be released next month. Revival in the core industries comes on top of 8.9 per cent growth in the country’s Gross Domestic Product for the first half of the current fiscal. However, amid the overall good performance of core infrastructure activity, coal and petroleum refinery output remained areas of concern. While petroleum refinery products showed a deceleration of 4.8 per cent, coal could barely grow by 0.8 per cent in October. Cement with 16.8 per cent and crude oil with 13.7 per cent growth emerged as the top infrastructure performers in October.

The April-October cumulative performance remained unchanged at 4.5 per cent from the previous year. As per data released by industry department, electricity generation increased to 8.4 per cent in October against 4.4 per cent in the comparable month last year. Output of finished steel too improved at 6.2 per cent from 2.5 per cent in October 2009.

During April-October period, crude oil sector registered a growth of 10.7 per cent against a contraction of 1.3 per cent in the same period last fiscal.

However, coal output in the first seven months of 2010-11 contracted by 0.1 per cent from a positive growth of 11.4 per cent in April-October 2009-10.

On cumulative basis, electricity generation and cement too slowed to 4.7 per cent and 6.3 per cent, respectively in April-October from 6.1 per cent and 11.3 per cent, in the same period last year. The data further said petroleum refinery output in the period expanded by 1.4 per cent and finished steel by 4.2 per cent.

Fiscal deficit down 33.76% in Apr-Oct

New Delhi, pti: The fiscal deficit narrowed by 33.76 per cent year-on-year to Rs 1.62 lakh crore in April-October, 2010, on the back of better revenue from sale of spectrum and robust tax collections. The fiscal deficit stood at Rs 2.45 lakh crore in corresponding period of previous financial year.

The government collected Rs 2.71 lakh crore in taxes during seven-month period, which was 50.9 per cent of budget target for entire fiscal. Tax collections during the same period last fiscal amounted to 45.1 per cent of whole-year target.

Non-tax revenue in April-October, 2010, stood at Rs 1.48 lakh crore, higher than budget estimate for entire fiscal, primarily because of higher realisation from the auction of spectrum, which raked in approximately Rs 70,000 crore more than estimated. 

However, expenditure also rose by 15 per cent during the period to Rs 6.17 lakh crore from over Rs 5.36 lakh crore in the year-ago period. At Rs 1.62 lakh crore, fiscal deficit in April- October, 2010, amounted to 42.6 per cent of budget estimate of Rs 3.81 lakh crore for entire 2010-11, according to data released by Controller General of Accounts.

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