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India's monsoon rains seen average in 2019 - weather office

NEW DELHI, April 15 (Reuters) - India is likely to receive average monsoon rains this year, the state-run weather office said on Monday, raising expectations of higher farm and economic growth in Asia's third-biggest economy, where half of the farmland lacks irrigation.

Monsoon rains are expected to be 96 percent of a long-term average, M. Rajeevan, secretary at the Ministry of Earth Sciences, told a news conference.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of a 50-year average of 89 centimetres for the entire four-month season beginning June. (Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj and Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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