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Core infra industries output grows by 5 pc in March

 In an impressive closure to the fiscal, the output of India's eight infrastructure industries in March increased by 5 percent, from a growth of 1 percent reported in February, buoyed by higher coal and steel production, official data showed on Monday.

The Eight Core Industries (ECI) index had reported a rise of 5.7 percent in January 2016.
The cumulative growth for the full fiscal during April to March stood at 4.5 percent.

The data which represents the output of major industrial sectors was released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The ECI index comprises of nearly 38 percent weightage of the items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP).

The index includes sectors like coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertilisers, steel (alloy and non-alloy), cement and electricity.

Electricity generation, which has the highest weightage of 10.32 percent in the IIP, edged up by 5.9 percent in March, as compared with the corresponding month of 2016.

Steel production, the second most important component with weightage of 6.68 percent, increased by 11 percent in the month under review.

However, distilling of refinery products, the third most important component as per weightage, inched down by 0.3 percent in March, as compared with the corresponding month of last year.

Conversely, extraction of crude oil, which has a 5.22 percent weightage in IIP, was slightly higher by 0.9 percent during the month in consideration.

Coal mining, with a 4.38 percent weightage, increased by an impressive 10 percent in March.

In contrast, cement production, which has the weightage of 2.41 percent, decreased by 6.8 percent in March 2017 over the same month of 2016.

On the other hand, the sub-index for natural gas output, with a weightage of 1.71 percent edged higher by 8.3 percent during the month under consideration.

Fertiliser manufacturing, which has the least weightage of only 1.25, declined by 0.8 percent in March