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India likely to get below normal rains in June as monsoon slows: IMD

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New Delhi, June 19: The average rainfall for the country as a whole is most likely to be below normal in June as the progress of the monsoon has slowed, according to an India Meteorological Department (IMD) forecast on Wednesday. 

While normal to above normal rainfall is expected in the southern states and northeast states, below normal rainfall is likely in the northern and central states in June which have been reeling under a heat wave.

Rainfall over the country as a whole for the month of June 2024 (till June 18) was 64.5 mm which was 20 per cent less than its Long Period Average (LPA) of 80.6 mm, IMD said.

“The normal to above normal monthly rainfall is most likely over most areas of the south peninsula India and some areas of Northeast India. Below normal rainfall is most likely over many areas of Northwest & adjoining Central India and some areas of Northeast India,” according to an IMD statement.

During this month, 11 sub-divisions received normal to large excess and 25 received deficient to large deficient rainfall.

The onset of the monsoon over Kerala this year was two days ahead of the usual date and over northeast India, 6 days in advance.

Thereafter, the north-ward progress of Monsoon was gradual and it covered entire states of Kerala, Karnataka, Rayalaseema, Goa & Telangana; most parts of South Maharashtra and some parts of South Chhattisgarh, South Odisha; most parts of Sub-Himalayan West Bengal & Sikkim and entire northeastern States by June 12.

However, the monsoon has not progressed after that and the Northern Limit of Monsoon on June 18, passes through Navsari, Jalgaon, Amravati, Chandrapur, Bijapur, Sukma, Malkangiri, Vizianagaram, IMD said.

The monsoon plays a key role in the Indian economy as over 50 per cent of the country's farmland does not have any other source of irrigation. The monsoon rains are also crucial for recharging the country’s reservoirs and aquifers from which the water can be used later in the year to irrigate crops.

India has emerged as a key exporter of foodgrains but had to resort to curbing overseas shipments of sugar, rice, wheat and onions in order to increase domestic supplies and keep prices in check due to the erratic monsoon last year which hit farm production. A robust growth in the farm sector helps to keep inflation in check.

Apart from supplying food, the farm sector also provides demand for industrial goods such as two-wheelers, fridges and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). An increase in agricultural production and incomes, therefore, apart from contributing directly to GDP growth also leads to an increase in industrial growth.

--IANS
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