Drought possible, but Centre prepared to tackle the situation: Agriculture Minister

With Monsoon expected to be below normal this year and likely to trigger a drought like situation in parts of the country, the Centre has prepared a contingency plan to meet any eventuality.

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: With Monsoon expected to be below normal this year and likely to trigger a drought like situation in parts of the country, the Centre has prepared a contingency plan to meet any eventuality.

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh, who is due to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said on Friday that a sub-normal monsoon has given rise to the possibility of drought in parts of the country, but the government is ready to tackle it.

Speaking to a private TV news channel, the Union Agriculture Minister said, “A contingency plan has been prepared for 500 districts all over the country. We have prepared a Cabinet note to help farmers with compensations such as subsidised diesel and cheaper loans."

The Minister assured that there is adequate buffer stocks and the Centre will do everything to control prices.

Singh also informed that an advisory is being sent to the state governments asking them to be prepared for tackling drought like situation.

The states that are most likely to be hit by a sub-normal monsoon this year are Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

Singh further said that the Centre has also called for a two-day meeting of state officials next week to discuss the situation.

Interestingly, at least seven NDA Ministers are scheduled to meet PM Modi later today to review the impact of poor rainfall in the country.

The meeting was called in the wake of Met department`s forecast of below-average rainfall this year, potentially damaging crops in about half of the country`s farmland that depends on monsoon rains.