Deficient monsoon to put pressure on growth: CII

July 29th, 2012 - 6:11 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Deficient monsoon is likely to worsen macro-economic situation and put further pressure on economic growth, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said.

“Not only will there be an impact on the performance of the agricultural sector but also on other sectors through the effect on rural incomes,” CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said in a report.

Indian economy is grappling with high inflation rates emanating largely from surging food prices. A normal monsoon would have provided the much needed relief by easing the domestic supply-side pressures.

Average monsoon rainfall was 22 percent less between June 1 and July 16, according to India Meteorological Department data.

Due to deficient monsoon sowing of major Kharif crops as on July 13 was down 18 percent as compared to last year — almost similar to the pattern observed in 2009, which saw the worst drought in four decades.

To counter the adverse situation, CII suggested urgent measures to be taken in the medium to long run.

Together with the much awaited agricultural reforms, there is a need to reduce the dependence of agriculture on monsoon by adopting technologies like drip irrigation, developing drought resistant quality of seeds and promoting rainwater harvesting, the industry body said.

Non-conventional sources of energy need to be explored in order to reduce the toll of deficient monsoon on power availability.

Additionally, the forecast mechanism of meteorological department also needs an urgent overhauling to enable farmers and related stakeholders take timely decisions to cope up with any deficiency, it said.

“A pro-active approach from the government is the need of the hour in order to mitigate the impact of the deficiency in monsoon and to ensure that the occurrence of such drought-like situation is reduced,” Banerjee said.

“More than 60 years after our independence we remain highly dependent on monsoon for our food supplies and this needs to be corrected.

“In this context it is also extremely important to look at the kind of capital creation happening in agriculture. Our resources aimed at the farm sector needs to translate in creation of assets like irrigation and other facilities,” he added.

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