New Delhi: India`s annual monsoon, which is vital for farm and economic growth, has not advanced for the past six days after bringing rains to a far-flung island three days ahead of normal, weather officials said on Thursday.
Monsoon winds were weak, and may need up to two days to strengthen, D Sivananda Pai, director of the National Climate Center at Pune, told a news agency over phone.
India Meteorological Department has forecast the June-September monsoon would hit the mainland on May 30 in Kerala.
"It is already raining in Kerala but we are waiting for certain characteristics of monsoon," Pai said.
The rains reached the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on May 17, two days ahead of schedule, before moving to many parts of the Bay of Bengal in the following week.
The progress has not been swift since then due to last week`s cyclone Laila on India`s east coast.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s government is banking heavily on monsoon rains, which irrigate 60 percent of the country`s farms, to calm food prices that soared after last year`s driest season in nearly four decades.
The government, which was voted back to power by a bigger mandate from the rural poor last year, is facing severe criticism due to high prices, especially of food.