Chandigarh: With monsoon turning active in many parts this month, Union Minister Ashwani Kumar today said rainfall received by the country during the current season so far stands at 90 percent, which is six percent short of the normal figure.
The union minister of state for planning, science and technology and earth sciences said there had been rains in various parts of the country during the past few days and the situation has improved, but "we are still overall deficient."
"The latest figures that we have got tell us that there have been 90 percent rains while 96 percent is normal. 90 percent is less than normal and there is deficiency, but by August end, the range of deficiency will be considerably narrowed," the Minister said here.
"Though it will still be deficient, but not to the extent what it looked 15 days back," the Minister said at a function at Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research.
Punjab and Haryana governments have raised a demand for Central packages of Rs 5,112 crore and Rs 4,050 crore respectively in the wake of deficient rain this kharif season, he said, adding, "We are thinking of intervention in various areas to mitigate the hardship."
He denied the charge by ruling SAD-BJP that Congress MPs from the state were not raising genuine issues concerning the state and also countered the step-motherly charge often used against UPA by Shiromani Akali Dal in context of Punjab.
"The UPA-I and II governments have given the largest possible assistance to the state government. It is there for everyone to see, whether it is education, increasing the crop MSP, Metro rail to Ludhiana, border development...You name it and they have got it. If they want to politicise development, then what can I say," he said.
Asked about the move to provide free mobile phones to people below poverty line, Kumar said "some suggestions have been given here and there, but there is no decision yet on this".