Too early to press panic button on monsoon, says Sharma

Putting up a brave face despite 16 per cent deficiency in monsoon rains, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today said it is too early to press a panic button.

Last Updated: Jul 02, 2010, 22:02 PM IST

New Delhi: Putting up a brave face despite
16 per cent deficiency in monsoon rains, Commerce and Industry
Minister Anand Sharma today said it is too early to press a
panic button.

"I don`t see that (deficit rains) stage has arisen for us
to panic," Sharma told reporters after his meeting with
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee here.
Sharma said a group of senior ministers is keeping an eye
on the food situation in the country.

"We have an Empowered Group of Ministers which meets
regularly and take stock of the food security issues and we go
through the buffer and the availability," he said.

Monsoon rains, crucial for the country`s economy, have
been 16 per cent deficient and stagnant over central India.
The rains have not advanced since June 18 when they covered
half of the country, the weather department said yesterday.
"Hopefully, the rains will come soon," Sharma said said.

The government has about 60 million tonnes of foodgrains
in the central pool.

However, food inflation is still high at 12.92 per cent.

The drought last year in several parts of the country
also contributed to high food prices.

PTI