New Delhi: The output of eight basic sector industries grew by 16.8 per cent during the month of May as compared to a year ago. This growth was driven by a lower relative base to last year and a pick-up in natural gas, refinery products, steel, cement and power generation. This information has come to the fore in the official figures released on Wednesday.
In May last year, due to the nationwide lockdown implemented to control the spread of COVID-19 infection, there was a huge decline of 21.4 percent in the production of these eight basic industries. In March this year, growth of 11.4 per cent was achieved in these industries and 60.9 per cent in the month of April. The high growth achieved in April 2021 is also the main reason for the low relative base from a year ago. In April 2020 too, business activities were completely closed due to the nationwide lockdown.
According to the data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in May21, production of natural gas in basic sector industries was 20.1 percent, production of refinery products 15.3 percent, steel production in May this year 59.3 percent, cement 7.9 percent, compared to May a year ago. Electricity generation has increased by 7.3 percent.
The same last year, production in these areas in the month of May decreased by 16.8 percent, 21.3 percent, 40.4 percent, 21.4 percent and 14.8 percent respectively. This is the reason why production is showing good growth this year on top of last year’s big decline.
Coal production also grew by 6.9 per cent in May 2021 as against a decline of 14 per cent in the previous year. On the other hand, fertilizers and crude oil registered a decline in May. In the first two months of the current financial year, April and May, the growth rate of eight basic industries stood at 35.8 per cent, compared to 29.4 per cent decline in production in both these months last year.(agency)