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Thundershowers may spread to more parts this week

Vinson Kurian
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Most parts of the country have slipped under an extended cover of thundershowers over the past month, helping sustain a rainfall surplus to date.

The rain surplus as on Wednesday last added up to five per cent, with 21 out of the 36 Met subdivisions falling in the ‘excess’ or ‘normal’ category.

Persistent deficit

But fringes in the west, south-west and south, east and north-east continued to sit out and wilt under persistent deficit. Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and parts of the north-east are the worst-hit.

Only the north-east need entertain any hopes of reversal during the week ahead, according to international model forecasts.

This means that the projected line-up of thunderstorms from north to south will continue to evade Gujarat in the West, Tamil Nadu in the South and Odisha in the East.

In contrast, almost the entire half of north India, most of central India and the western half of peninsular India will witness continued thundershower activity during the week.

It will be particularly active over Kerala and adjoining coastal Karnataka, projections suggested.

Known pattern

The emerging pattern of thunderstorms sits well with the known pattern of pre-monsoon weather in which rising heat causes air to go up over land creating troughs of lower pressure criss-crossing it.

Moisture-laden winds from the surrounding seas blow into these troughs and interact with the prevailing hot air to set up localised thunderstorms.

Peninsular India has started to heat up appreciably with isolated places in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra already coasting into the mid-40-degree-Celsius mark. But thunderstorms and thunder squalls in north-west India have prevented the region from heating up in tandem.

Heating capped

The process is forecast to be delayed further since cooler western disturbances, low-pressure systems from across the border, are forecast to troop into Rajasthan/Punjab later into this week too.

India Met Department has forecast that heat-capping thunder squalls (seasonally knows as ‘aandhi’) will rip through the plains of north-west and east India.

The causative disturbance will meander into the landlocked north-east and interact with incremental supply of moisture from the Bay of Bengal to the south-west and spark off violent squalls and thunderstorms.

This will effectively signal the onset of Kal Baisakhi, the annual thunderstorm season in the east and north-east, which will extend right into the eve of onset of the monsoon over Kerala later in June.

(This article was published on April 16, 2014)
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Union Budget 2014-15 Highlights

  • Following are the highlights of the Union Budget 2014-15 presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Parliament on July 10, 2014
  • Income-tax exemption limit raised by Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh and for senior citizens to Rs 3 lakh
  • Exemption limit for investment in financial instruments under 80C raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh.
  • Investment limit in PPF raised to Rs 1.5 lakh from Rs 1 lakh
  • Deduction limit on interest on loan for self-occupied house raised to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh.
  • Committee to look into all fresh tax demands for indirect transfer of assets in wake of retrospective tax amendments of 2012
  • Fiscal deficit target retained at 4.1% of GDP for current fiscal and 3.6% in FY 16
  • Rs 150 crore allocated for increasing safety of women in large cities
  • LCD, LED TV become cheaper
  • Cigarettes, pan masala, tobacco, aerated drinks become costlier
  • 5 IIMs to be opened in HP, Punjab, Bihar, Odisha and Rajasthan
  • 5 more IITs in Jammu, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.
  • 4 more AIIMS like institutions to come up in AP, West Bengal, Vidarbha in Maharashtra and Poorvanchal in UP
  • Govt proposes to launch Digital India’ programme to ensure broad band connectivity at village level
  • National Rural Internet and Technology Mission for services in villages and schools, training in IT skills proposed
  • Rs 100 cr scheme to support about 600 new and existing Community Radio Stations
  • Rs 100 cr for metro projects in Lucknow and Ahmedabad
  • Govt expects Rs 9.77 lakh crore revenue crore from taxes
  • Govt’s plan expenditure pegged at Rs 5.75 lakh crore and non-Plan at Rs 12.19 lakh crore.
  • Rs 2,037 crore set aside for Integrated Ganga Conservation Mission called ‘Namami Gange’
  • Kisan Vikas Patra to be reintroduced, National Savings Certificate with insurance cover to be launched
  • FDI limit to be hiked to 49% pc in defence, insurance
  • Disinvestment target fixed at Rs 58,425 crore
  • Gross borrowings pegged at Rs 6 lakh crore
  • Contours of GST to be finalised this fiscal; Govt to look into DTC proposal.
  • ‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme’ launched with initial sum of Rs 500 crore
  • Govt provides Rs 500 crore for rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri migrants
  • Set aside Rs 11,200 crore for PSU banks capitalisation
  • Govt in favour of consolidation of PSU banks
  • Govt considering giving greater autonomy to PSU banks while making them accountable
  • Rs 7,060 crore for setting up 100 Smart Cities
  • A project on the river Ganga called ‘Jal Marg Vikas’ for inland waterways between Allahabad and Haldia; Rs 4,200 crore set aside for the purpose.
  • Govt proposes Ultra Modern Super Critical Coal Based Thermal Power Technology
  • Expenditure management commission to be setup; will look into food and fertilizer subsides
  • Impasse in coal sector will be resolved; coal will be provided to power plants already commissioned or to be commissioned by March 2015
  • Long term capial gains tax for mutual funds doubled to 20%; lock-in period increased to 3 years
  • Rs 4,000 cr set aside to increase flow of cheaper credit for affordable housing to the urban poor/EWS/LIG segment.
  • EPFO to launch the ‘Uniform Account Number’ service to facilitate portability of Provident Fund accounts
  • Mandatory wage ceiling of subscription to EPS (Employee Pension Scheme) raised from Rs 6,500 to Rs 15,000
  • Minimum pension increased to Rs 1,000 per month
  • Union Budget 2014: List of products getting cheaper/ costlier

  • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today spared the common man from price hikes by keeping duties on commonly used day-to-day items unchanged but made it costlier for smokers and tobacco consumers with a steep increase in excise rate in tax proposals in Budget 2014—15.
  • Following is a list of what will be cheaper and costlier:
  • YOU WILL PAY LESS FOR
  • CRT television
  • LED/LCD TVs especially below 19 inch
  • Footwear priced between Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 per pair
  • Soaps
  • E—book readers
  • Desktop, laptops and tablets
  • RO based water purifiers
  • LED Lights, fixtures and lamps
  • Pre forms of precious and semi—precious stones
  • Sports Gloves
  • Branded petrol
  • Matchbox
  • Life micro insurance policies
  • HIV/AIDS drugs and diagnostic kits
  • DDT insecticides
  • YOU WILL PAY MORE FOR
  • Cigarettes
  • Aerated drinks with sugar
  • Pan masala
  • Gutka and chewing tobacco
  • Jarda scented tobacco
  • Radio Taxi
  • Imported electronic products
  • Portable X—ray machines
  • Half cut/broken diamonds.

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