Mumbai: The monsoon, crucial to India’s economy, reached Maharashtra three days earlier than expected, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said?on?Saturday.
The rains hit Maharashtra on Saturday. Conditions are favourable for the monsoon to extend over some parts of Gujarat and remaining parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in the next two or three days, IMD said.
The monsoon season provides the main source of water for agriculture, which contributes about 17% to India’s gross domestic product.
Good rains have helped Asia’s third largest economy to grow 9% in the past three years.
IMD has forecast near-normal monsoon rains for 2008, which could provide a breather to a government battling high inflation. India’s wholesale price index rose 8.24% in the 12 months to 24 May, the highest level in almost four years, driven in part by a spike in food prices.