Pranab moots proactive steps to boost industry

New Delhi: Describing near 6 per cent growth in industrial production in November as a "good sign", Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today indicated that the government could take some proactive steps to boost the economy.

Factory output, as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), has seen growth in recent months, with the exception of October, when it contracted. "If this trend in the numbers continues, perhaps we can expect to have a better performance (during December-March)… But for that, we need to take some proactive actions about which I cannot comment on right now," he told reporters.

The Election Commission has imposed a Model Code of Conduct ahead of upcoming Assembly elections in five states and the government is not permitted to make policy announcements during this period.

Led by the recovery in manufacturing output, industrial production grew by 5.9 per cent in November, 2011, after witnessing a contraction in the previous month, a development that may reverse the negative sentiment amid a slowing economy.

Today`s data on factory output coincides with the release of weekly food inflation numbers, which remained in the negative zone for the second consecutive week in late December.

"Therefore, both on the wholesale price front in respect of primary articles, food articles and positive growth in IIP, (in) the backdrop of negative growth in October, this is a good sign," Mukherjee added.