Deficit monsoon: PM directs weekly monitoring

July 23rd, 2012 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) With deficient monsoon rains threatening crop plantation in the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday asked all ministries concerned to co-ordinate efforts with state governments to meet any eventuality and monitor the situation on a weekly basis.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the monsoon rainfall has been 22 percent deficient so far with the states like Punjab and Haryana, the “grain-bowl” of the country, receiving poor rainfall.

“The prime minister has been apprised of the situation and has directed all departments and ministries to co-ordinate efforts with state governments to meet any eventuality and monitor the situation on a weekly basis,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Contingency plans have been prepared by the department of agriculture and cooperation and shared with the states and these will be rolled out in the areas which continue to receive low rainfall, it said.

“An inter-ministerial group under secretary, department of agriculture and cooperation is reviewing the situation on a weekly basis and also holding video conference with the state governments,” it said.

Measures taken include availability of all seeds including of coarse cereals and pulses and ensuring power availability for agricultural purposes so that yield of rice is not adversely affected.

The government is also keeping an eye on prices.

“While the prices of wheat and rice are stable, the prices of sugar, pulses and vegetable are showing an upward trend. A proposal for increase in subsidy for supply of pulses through Public Distribution System to BPL families is being brought before Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs by the ministry of consumer affairs, food and public distribution,” it said.

With poor rainfall also affecting level of water in various reservoirs, the prime minister has asked the ministry of drinking water and sanitation to ensure adequate reservation for drinking water.

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