Pawar, Modi discuss miserable monsoon
Former Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday and discussed the situation arising from poor monsoon. “They discussed the delayed monsoon climate and its effects on economy,” a statement issued by the official Press Information Bureau said.
Delayed and sluggish monsoon has hit the overall sowing of kharif crop and the rising prices of food commodities is fuelling inflation. Monsoon has been severely deficient in Mr. Pawar’s home State Maharashtra where Assembly elections are due in October. The NCP leader was in-charge of the agriculture Ministry for 10 years during the United Progressive Alliance rule.
Official data shows that the Marathwada region of Maharashtra has not received any rain so far. There was some rain in Madhya Maharashtra between June 4 and 11. Vidarbha, a region which has seen a number of farmers’ suicide, has not received rain after June 18. The region was dry in the June 4-11 week. Marathwada and Madhya Maharashtra are chronically deficient in rainfall. The year before last, there was a drinking water crisis in the region and water had to be carried in trains.
Besides Marathwada, monsoon has completely bypassed the Gujarat region. There was some rainfall in Saurashtra and Kutch between June 18 and 24, but no movement in monsoon after that. The Centre has asked the States to be ready with contingency plans to help farmers and crack down on hoarders.