The output of eight core infrastructure industries declined by a record 38.1 percent in April due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown, according to official data, released on Friday. The eight core sectors had expanded by 5.2 per cent in the same month last year, while it had contracted by 9 percent in the last month i.e. March, the data released by the Commerce and Industry Ministry showed. Core sector output consists of production in eight major sectors — coal, crude oil, natural gas, refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement, and electricity. They comprise of 40.27 per cent of the weight of items included in the Index of Industrial Production (IIP)
“In view of nationwide lockdown during April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, various industries – Coal, Cement, Steel, Natural Gas, Refinery, Crude Oil etc experienced substantial loss of production,” the ministry said in a statement.
As per the data, cement and steel production witnessed the sharpest decline at 86 percent and 83.9 percent, respectively. Production of other components declined as follows: coal (15.5 percent), crude oil (6.4 percent), natural gas (19.9 percent), refinery products (24.2 percent), fertilisers (4.5 percent), electricity (22.8 percent)