Dark clouds finally bring relief for UPA!

Updated: Jun 06, 2012, 12:25 PM IST

Ankita Chakrabarty/ Zee Research Group

New Delhi: Dispelling all anxieties, the South-west Monsoon has finally hit Kerala on Tuesday. Earlier the monsoon was expected to hit Kerala by June 1 but it got delayed by approximately 72 hours.

Nonetheless, better late than never or less in monsoon’s case. In 2011, though the monsoon advance over Andaman Sea was delayed by about ten days, it set in over Kerala on May 29, three days before its normal date of June 1 and covered the entire country by July 9, six days earlier than its normal date of July 15. The 2011 southwest monsoon season rainfall over the country as a whole was good.

South-west monsoon is key to the performance of India’s trillion-dollar economy. A bumper harvest on the back of a good rainfall creates an upbeat festive mood in all sectors of the economy. On the other hand, a bad monsoon dampens the economic prospects and retards growth. A negative mood sets in with a cascading effect on the overall economy.

That’s primarily because the farm sector employs 60 percent of India’s workforce despite contributing merely 14-15 percent to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). For instance agriculture including allied activities, accounted for 14.5 percent of GDP (at 2004-05 prices), in 2010-11 as compared to 14.7 percent in 2009-10.

A good or bad monsoon is contagious for politics as well. In fact, successive years of good monsoons have saved UPA from facing a shortage of food grains despite the government’s inability to push forward supply-side reforms, the primary factor behind inflation.

In fact, for five successive years, from 2004-05 to 2008-09, food grains production have recorded an increasing trend. The only exception was 2009-10 when it declined to 218.11 million tonnes due to severe drought conditions in various parts of the country.

However, normal monsoon in 2010-11 once again helped the country reach a significantly higher level of 244.78 million tonnes of food grains production. In 2011-12, the country has registered an all time record level of 250.42 million tonnes production of food grains.

A chronology of the rainfall in the UPA regime shows that the year 2007 recorded good amount of rainfall as the actual rainfall in mm was 943.0 which were more than the normal count of 886.9. However, the year 2009 recorded the third deficient monsoon rainfall of the decade (2001-2009). The actual amount of rainfall in mm recorded this year was 698.2.

But the year 2010 and 2011 acted as saviors with actual amount of rainfall more than the normal count. In 2010, the actual amount of rainfall recorded was 911.1 mm and in 2011, the figure stood at 901.3 respectively.