New Delhi: Allaying concerns over the
forecast of `below normal` monsoon rains during the current
season, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said the
projections are only a shade below the annual average.
"Let us wait for some more time," Mukherjee told
reporters here on a query related to the monsoon rains.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) yesterday said
monsoon rains are expected to be below normal at 95 per cent
of the Long Period Average (LPA), with margin for error of
plus or minus 4 per cent.
A below normal monsoon can have a serious fallout on
"They (IMD) are saying it would be around 95 per cent and
normal average is 98 per cent," the Finance Minister said.
In April, during the first monsoon forecast, the
government had said the monsoon would be normal, with the
rainfall likely to be 98 per cent of the Long Period Average
(LPA), with an margin of error of plus or minus 5 per cent.
Monsoon rains from June to September are a key factor for
global commodities markets, as they influence output of
various crops in India, which is among the world`s leading
producers and consumers of wheat, rice, sugar and edible oils.
The monsoon rains are crucial for summer-sown crops, as
about 60 per cent of the country`s agriculture is dependent on
rains. Due to a widespread drought in 2009-10 and a dearth of
rainfall in some parts of the country in 2010-11, paddy
production had suffered.