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Why monsoon-dependent Indian economy needs climate-sensitive budgeting

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Indian growth story has a capricious content of monsoon rains. As India moves into election year, the political economy of the monsoon is crucial to analyse. How the government strengthens their structural policies to ease the agrarian distress, contain food inflation and trigger the rural economy is something that a median voter in India is keenly looking forward to.

In India, 70% of annual rainfall is received in four months—June, July, August and September. As the rural economy is predominantly monsoon-dependent, any deviation from normal rainfall has repercussions on it. The official statistics show that, in India, agriculture accounts for around 16% of GDP and contributes around 49% of employment.

It is an irony that India is a significant example of an economy that still depends on the cyclicality of rains—the timely arrival and even distribution of monsoon—for its economic growth. A good monsoon is crucial for the rural economy as it not only is significant for kharif crops, but also for rabi crops, by replenishing the underground water. An important prelude to doubling the income of........

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