All Indians ‘chasing the monsoon’

July 27th, 2010 - 6:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Mumbai, July 27 (IANS) Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor D. Subbarao Tuesday stressed how important the annual rain showers between June and mid-October were for the country, using the title from Alexander Frater’s famous book: “Chasing the Monsoon”.
“Right, when I started my career, monsoon had an impact on my emotional well-being, on my career prospects,” said Subbarao, addressing a press conference after unveiling the first-quarter review of the monetary policy here, in which inflation was in focus.

“If it rains everything is well on earth and cordial in heaven. You carry on with your work. But if it doesn’t, all you did was drought relief. Now at the end of my career I realise I am once again hostage to monsoon,” he said.

“If it rains, the monetary policy works. Everything is all right. If it doesn’t rain, there is worry,” added the central bank governor, the topper of the 1972 batch of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) who opted for Andhra Pradesh cadre.

“So, I want you to realise that all of us are ‘Chasing the Monsoon’.”

Subbarao used the phrase from Fraters’ book, bordering on a travelogue, that illustrates the author’s experiences during a journey that begins at Thiruvananthapuram on June 1, when the first monsoon showers arrive on the mainland.

He is then in Kovalam watching people rejoice with the first showers and moves northward via Kochi and Goa to Delhi and even the northeast, learning on the way how these annual rains drive the lives of an Indian farmer and the city-dweller alike.

The apex bank governor’s remarks are also similar to what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister Pranab had to say recently about the monsoon — which accounts for two-thirds of India’s precipitation and over half the farm sector’s water needs.

Manmohan Singh said his prediction of a 8.5 percent economic growth for this fiscal depended on good showers this season, while Mukherjee has said monsoon is the real finance minister of the country and not he.

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