India is likely to receive near-normal monsoon rains in 2019, the country’s official weather forecaster said on Monday, easing concerns over farm output and economic growth in Asia’s third-biggest economy where half the farmland lacks irrigation.Pronab Sen, former chief statistician and DS Pai, director of long-range forecast at the India MET Department, shared their views and outlook.“The forecast that we give in April include the special distribution. Only in the June update, we give a special distribution. However, based on the indication so far, we are expecting a well-distributed rainfall all over the country. It is 96 percent,” said Pai.Speaking about El Nino, Pai said, “As of the conditions suggests, there may not be early onset, it could be very close to normal. However, we will come with a definite forecast around May 15. El Nino conditions currently is weak and though we are expecting weak El Nino conditions to prevail during monsoon season, in the second part of the season its intensity will decrease substantially.”With regards to a probable drought situation, Pai said, “Assuming the worst case, if the El Nino strengthens further, we may go to the minus 5 which is around 91 percent. You cannot probably rule out but very less chance of a drought.”“If your reading is because India is now agriculturally surplus then a good monsoon can spell a reversal of the price rise but if you believe like I do that the problem is not one of extra supply but a problem of institutional demand because of poor has not got the income growth that they have had earlier then a good monsoon is a good news. I think a good monsoon is a thing to celebrate,” said Sen.