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Industrial output grows 13.5% in March; 10.4% in FY09-10

This is the sixth consecutive month of double digit growth in industrial production, prompting experts to peg economic growth at over 7.2% in 2009-10

Industrial output maintained its double digit growth for the sixth consecutive month at 13.5% in March, but was lower than expected, reports PTI.

For the year 2009-10, industry grew by 10.4%, up from 2.8% in the previous financial year, according to the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) figures released by the government today.

Industrial growth, as measured by the index of industrial production (IIP), was lower than 15.1% in February and 16% in January, as also the consensus forecast.While Crisil’s principal economist D K Joshi predicted industry to grow by 15%, the research division of HDFC Bank had pegged it at 15.5%.

The double digit rise in March was largely owing to a low-base year and a good showing of 14.3% by manufacturing. Mining rose 11% and electricity by 7.7% in the month under review.

The consumer durables segment, which was particularly hit by the global crisis, expanded 32% in the month while capital goods production rose 27.4%.

As many as 14 out of the 17 industrial groups showed positive growth in March.This is the sixth consecutive month of double digit growth in the industrial output, prompting experts to peg economic growth at over 7.2% in 2009-10.

For the year, manufacturing sector accelerated to 10.9% from 2.8% in the previous fiscal.Mining output and power generation rose to 9.7% and 6%, respectively, from 2.6% and 2.8%, respectively, in the previous fiscal.

 

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Senior citizens to spell ‘help’ with a four-digit number

Senior citizens in Mumbai will now be able to find referral assistance by dialling a simple four-digit number. The helpline will provide round the clock referral service for legal, financial and health issues for senior citizens

With the launch of the ‘1298’ helpline for the service of senior citizens, the word ‘help’ will have a new spelling for senior citizens. The helpline, which was launched on Monday, will extend 24/7 service-for-referral guidance in legal, medical and financial problems.

The helpline will have two counsellors available round the clock to help senior citizens with their various problems. The four-digit number was formally launched by famous film actress Asha Parekh.

Demonstrating how the helpline worked, Ms Parekh dialled the number and asked for help on how to attend to a senior citizen suffering from dementia. In response, the counsellor on the other side of the line provided her with some basic knowledge on dementia and also the nearest centres dealing with such health issues.

The four-digit helpline can be accessed by anyone in the Mumbai metropolitan region including Virar, Navi Mumbai and Thane. The number is toll-free for all Tata Indicom connection users. For those in nearby cities like Pune, the same referral service can be availed on the number 022-39571298. The 1298 helpline can also be reached through email at [email protected].

The helpline has been formed by major non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working for the senior citizens’ cause, including Silver Innings, HelpAge India, Harmony for Silvers Foundation and FESSCOM. The helpline infrastructure is being provided by 1298 helpline, which already provides assistance to women and ambulance services. The helpline has been funded by the Nargis Dutt Memorial Trust.

“This is a very important helpline. There are already a number of helplines in the city, but I think to have a helpline with everything under one roof, is what is important. When a senior citizen has a problem, he does not necessarily only have to deal with the police, it could be a property or tax issue. This will be just one number, where a counsellor will listen to him, understand what the issue is and assist him and then direct or connect him with the NGO concerned,” said Priya Dutt, member of Parliament, who now looks after the affairs of the Nargis Dutt Memorial Trust.

D Sivanandan, Mumbai police commissioner, was also present at the launch. The Mumbai police already has a helpline for senior citizens which provides assistance only on police-related issues and is restricted to city limits.
 

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