Ruling out the possibility of a deficient monsoon, India Meteorological Department on Thursday said 96 per cent chances are that the rainfall this year would be normal to excess.
Releasing the second long-range forecast, IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said North-west India will receive 108 per cent rainfall of the Long Period Average while central India and southern peninsula will receive 113 per cent of LPA.
The North-eastern region is expected to get 94 per cent of rainfall which is “below normal.” Anything less than 90 per cent of the LPA is termed as a “deficient” monsoon and 90-96 per cent of the LPA is rated as “below normal.”
The monsoon delivers 70% of India’s annual rainfall. It is critical for the country’s 263 million farmers and their rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybean crops because nearly half of its farmland lacks irrigation.
Bumper rains can spur farm and economic growth and boost rural demand for gold, cars, motorcycles, refrigerators and fertiliser.
Two-thirds of India’s population depends on farming for its livelihood.
Plentiful rains could also encourage the Reserve Bank of India to cut interest rates after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) this month eased its repo rate by 25 basis points to its lowest in more than five years.
Monsoon is considered “normal” if the LPA is between 96 and 104 per cent of the LPA. “Above normal” monsoon is between 104-110 per cent of the LPA and anything beyond 110 per cent is considered “excess.”
Due to poor monsoon in the 2015-16 crop year (July-June), 10 states have declared drought and the Centre has sanctioned about Rs. 10,000 crore by way of relief to help the farmers.