The drought hit nation got a sigh of relief when the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted "above normal" monsoon in the year 2016.
According to IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore, ""Monsoon rains will be above long-period average this year and the El Nino conditions will be seen diminishing by June and July. Monsoon will be 106% of the long period average (LPA). There is 94% probability that monsoon will be normal to excess this year. By and large, there will be fair distribution of monsoon across the country. But North-East India and South-East India, particularly Tamil Nadu, may get slightly less than normal rainfall", adding that it will come out with the second stage of prediction in June.
Agriculture, which contributes around 15% to India's GDP and employs about 60% of the country's population, is heavily dependent on the monsoon as only around 40% of the cultivable area is under irrigation.
Two back-to-back monsoon failures, 2015 being the hottest year on record, poor post-monsoon rain, an alarming depletion of reservoirs and a heat wave that's forecast to continue and even intensify — all this has changed the country's water economics drastically for farmers, households, businesses, etc. Around 10 states have been declared as drought states, Indian government has recently stated to Supreme Court that over 25% of India’s population is hit by drought. The good monsoon will not only reduce the water scare, but will also boost the economy.
The Indian government has also sanctioned relief package of about Rs 10,000 crore to help farmers. An above normal monsoon forecast is certainly the most awaited good news - so it’s definitely the ‘ache din’ for farmers and Indian economy this year!