Eight core industries' growth rate slowed down to 2 % in March as against 6.5% in the same month last year on account of dismal expansion in crude oil and natural gas sectors.
The eight industries - crude oil, petroleum refinery products, natural gas, fertilisers, coal, electricity, cement and finished steel - have a weightage of 37.9% in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP).
During fiscal 2011-12, the core industries grew by 4.3% compared to 6.6% in 2010-11, according to the data released by the commerce ministry today.
Crude oil and natural gas production contracted by 2.9% and 10.1% in March, respectively. Crude oil production had grown by 12.1 % while natural gas output had declined by 10.6% in March 2011.
Electricity, steel and fertiliser output slowed down by 2.1%, 2.3% and 1.5 % respectively, in the month under review compared to 7.6%, 12% and 3.9% respectively in March 2011.
In February, the eight infrastructure industries grew by 6.8% in February after a dismal performance of 0.5% a month ago.
Petroleum refinery output too slowed down by 1.6% compared to 8.5% in March 2011.
However, coal and cement output grew by 6.8% and 7.1%, respectively.