India’s June-September monsoon is likely to be normal, the weather bureau said on Friday, brightening prospects of bumper crops and economic recovery, crucial for a government heading into a general election. The India Meteorological Department predicted that summer rains would be 98% of the country’s 50-year average of 89cm. Rainfall between 96% and 100% is considered normal.
Summer rains are critical for India, Asia’s third biggest economy, because two-thirds of Indians depend on farm income and nearly 60% of farmlands do not have irrigation facilities.
“This year’s monsoon is most likely to be normal,” science and technology minister Jaipal Reddy said, announcing the official forecast for 2013.
Met chief LS Rathore said areas currently facing a drought, such as Maharashtra, are expected to get normal rains.
Adequate rains will help the government focus on growth, curb inflation and check the fiscal deficit.