Even as he described the industrial growth figure for February as ‘very low’, Plan panel Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia took heart that it was not in the negative, and expressed confidence that India's economic growth would be higher in the current fiscal.
"I think it (IIP growth in February) is consistent to what we have been saying that 2012-13 was not a good year and (the economic growth in) 2013-14 would be a lot better. . . I am glad that it is not negative but it is very low," Ahluwalia told reporters in New Delhi.
According to official data released on Friday, industrial growth has slipped to 0.6 per cent in February this year due to contraction in power generation and mining output and poor performance of manufacturing sector.
Factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production, had grown by 4.3 per cent in February last year.
IIP had growth at 2.4 per cent in January this year.
"Obviously the industrial growth is very low. “It is due to mining sector. “There are problems in mining sector which I hope will get sorted out", Ahluwalia said.
The mining output in February this year too contracted by 8.1 per cent, compared to a growth in production by 2.3 per cent in the same month of 2012.
For the April-February period, the production in the sector showed a decline of 2.5 per cent, against contraction of 2.1 per cent in the year-ago period.
Image: Montek Singh Ahluwalia