New Delhi: Amid the coronavirus pandemic, India’s GDP for the June quarter has contracted by 23 per cent as opposed to the growth of 3.1 per cent in the April-June quarter, the government released an official date on Monday. This is the highest recorded negative growth since 1996 when the country first started publishing the fiscal data on a quarterly basis. Also Read - COVID-19 Can Cause Decline in Life Expectancy Globally

“GDP at Constant (2011-12) Prices in Q1 of 2020-21 is estimated at Rs 26.90 lakh crore, as against Rs 35.35 lakh crore in Q1 of 2019-20, showing a contraction of 23.9 per cent as compared to 5.2 per cent growth in Q1 2019-20,” the National Statistical Office (NSO) said in a statement. Also Read - 2021 Haridwar Kumbh: In a First, Number of Pilgrims to Be Restricted; Entry Passes to Be Issued

Businesses and livelihoods across the country have been adversely affected since March 25 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown due to a rise of COVID-19 infections. Also Read - COVID-19 Implications: Patients Suffering From COVID-19 Are Facing Cardiac Issues

Agriculture was the only outlier as all other sectors, including manufacturing, construction and services, suffered steep declines. According to the data, gross value added (GVA) growth in the manufacturing sector contracted by 39.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21, from 3 per cent expansion a year ago, whereas farm sector GVA grew at 3.4 per cent compared to 3 per cent in the corresponding period of 2019-20.

Construction sector GVA contracted by a whopping 50.3 per cent from 5.2 per cent expansion earlier. Mining sector output declined at 23.3 per cent, as against a growth of 4.7 per cent a year ago.

Electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services segment too shrank by 7 per cent in the first quarter of 2020-21, against 8.8 per cent growth a year ago.

Similarly, trade, hotel, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting declined 47 per cent in the first quarter from 3.5 per cent growth earlier. Financial, real estate and professional services fell by 5.3 per cent in Q1 FY21 from 6 per cent growth in same period last fiscal.

Public administration, defence and other services too saw a decline of 10.3 per cent during the quarter under review, from 7.7 per cent growth a year earlier.

The Centre began easing the lockdown for certain economic activities from April 20 onwards.

“With a view to contain spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions were imposed on the economic activities not deemed essential, as also on the movement of people from 25 March, 2020.

“Though the restrictions have been gradually lifted, there has been an impact on the economic activities as well as on the data collection mechanisms,” the statement read.

Most rating agencies had projected contraction in India’s GDP for the first quarter of 2020-21.

With PTI inputs