New Delhi: India’s eight infrastructure sectors continued to underperform with 0.1% growth in January against 0.2% expansion recorded in December.
While crude oil, natural gas, refinery products and cement output continued to contract in January, steel and electricity output expanded further. However, coal output slipped into the negative territory after a gap of six months, while fertilizer output turned positive after a contraction in December.
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Care Ratings chief economist Madan Sabnavis said the anemic growth in core sector is a concern as it has a weight of nearly 40% in the IIP and reflects physical production that has now declined by 8.8% for the year. “IIP growth for the month can be expected to be positive but less than 1% provided support given by consumer oriented industries," he added.
Separately, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in a virtual meeting on Friday along with NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and secretaries of 22 infrastructure departments discussed post-budget action points for infrastructure roadmap ahead, including implementation of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP). This was the third review meeting by the Finance Minister about the importance of NIP and infrastructure sector to ensure a faster post covid-19 recovery of the economy.
While the NIP was launched with 6,835 projects, the project pipeline has now been expanded to nearly 7,600 projects. “It has witnessed accelerated spending on infrastructure projects in ministries especially in Q2/Q3 FY21. Around 216 projects worth Rs. 74,067 crore under infrastructure ministries have been completed till Q3 FY 21 and around 678 projects worth Rs. 6 trillion have progressed from the lower stage to the upper stage of project formulation and implementation till Q3 FY21. However, it has also been observed that Ministries/Departments needs to work very hard in order to ensure achieving targets of the NIP," the finance ministry said in a statement.
NITI Aayog CEO gave a presentation on asset monetization and highlighted various models for monetization of core infrastructure assets and also spoke about finalizing targets for asset monetization, the statement added.
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