India sticks to above normal monsoon forecast for 2016: weather office

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 02, 2016 7:30 AM

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India on Thursday retained its monsoon forecast for this year at 106 percent of a long-term average, boosting hopes of better farm and economic growth after two consecutive years of drought cut rural incomes and agricultural output.

"Conditions are congenial for the arrival of monsoon in the next 4-5 days," Laxman Singh Rathore, the chief of India's meteorological department, said at a news conference.

The annual June-September monsoon rains hit the coast in India's southern Kerala state first before progressing to other parts of the country.

Although India's rain-dependent agriculture sector accounts for about 15 percent of the $2 trillion economy, two-thirds of the country's 1.3 billion people depend on the farm sector for their livelihood.

(Reporting by Sankalp Phartiyal and Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi)