New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will hold a government-industry consultation next week to discuss the slump in factory output, an official statement said on Monday. “The minister will hold government-industry consultation on the issue Dec 19, 2011, after his return from the WTO ministerial meeting,” the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement.

The ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) is scheduled to be held in Geneva Dec 15-17. 

Industrial output growth has declined in the last few months and slumped into negative territory in October.

Factory output, measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), slumped to minus 5.1 percent in October this year as compared to 11.3 percent growth registered during the corresponding month of last year.

Sharma expressed “deep concern over the sharp decline in industrial production, particularly in the fall of manufacturing which are engaging the government's attention at the highest level”.

The output of the manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 percent of the IIP index, declined by six percent in October, as against a growth of 12.3 percent registered during the corresponding month of 2010.

India Inc has blamed policy paralysis and rising cost of capital for deceleration in industrial and overall economic growth. The Reserve Bank of India has hiked key policy rates 13 times since the beginning of 2010 to curb stubborn inflation.