Better rains set in another lucky phase for Modi govt; pulses, cereals acreage rise

Are the rain gods finally changing their stance on India?

Look at the data and you would want to believe they have. Bountiful rains in July has wiped out the deficiency in June. In June the defecniency was 11 percent, but July witnessed a 7 percent excess. Thus the accumulated deficiency of June got wiped out.

“A spike in prices of pulses (owing to the sharp decline in production over the last two years) led to the surge in sowing. Thus, India is likely to witness healthy growth in the output of Kharif pulses, which would help cool pulses inflation (hovering at 20%+ over the last one year),” they note.

Meanwhile, the cereals acreage rose 3.3 percent on year and that of oilseeds 8 percent.

“This is a positive development, given that output of Kharif cereals/ oilseeds had fallen by 3.2%/ 13.5% YoY to a five-year low in 2015,” they note.

However, it is too early yet to say this is going to be a turnaround year for the rural economy. There are dry patches that continue to haunt a broadbased rural recovery.

According to IMD, until 31 July, nearly 21 percent of the country has received “deficient” rainfall.

The data shows deficiency has reached 49 percent in Saurashtra and Kutch region followed by Gujarat region (39), Himachal Pradesh (27), Assam and Meghalaya (26), Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Kerala (25) and Odisha (20).

However, regions such as Vidarbha and Marathwada, which faced acute drought crisis due to two consecutive droughts have received normal rainfall so far.

Moreover, will one year of normal or above normal monsoon offset the negative impact of two consecutive drought years? Experts have warned it will not. Nonetheless, the government can expect a booster shot for the economy with the normal monsoon, the reform push and 7th Pay Commission implementation.

With PTI inputs

Data contribution by Kishor Kadam