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India likely to get above-normal rainfall in July as monsoon picks up pace: IMD

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New Delhi, July 1: India is likely to get above-average rainfall in July as the monsoon has picked up momentum, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Monday. There is an 80 per cent probability of normal to above-normal rainfall in July across all regions of the country apart from the Northeast, according to the IMD forecast.

The favourable La Nina effect is expected to come into play during the second half of the monsoon season, resulting in more rain, said IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra. The monsoon arrived early over Kerala and the Northeast on May 30, but its progress slowed over Maharashtra.

This resulted in scorching heat waves in northwest India and prolonged dry conditions in West Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. “The country recorded 16 days of below-normal rainfall activity from June 11 to June 27, which led to overall below-normal precipitation,” Mohapatra said.

According to the IMD data, the country received 147.2 mm rainfall against a normal of 165.3 mm during June, which is a deficit of 11 per cent for the month. The monsoon plays a key role in the Indian economy as close to 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 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 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 plays a key role in providing a 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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