As Monsoon Crisis Worsens, PM Modi Reviews Contingency Plan

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting with officials and his ministers on the progress of monsoon in the country.

The meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, was attended by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh.

"Discussions were held on food security Act and drought situation," Mr Singh told reporters after the meeting.

The Agriculture Ministry and the Meteorological Department briefed the Prime Minister about the progress of monsoon in the country and ongoing sowing operations of the Kharif crops including paddy.

The monsoon is expected to improve after July 7 but the government is fully prepared to tackle the situation in case of poor rainfall, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.

Monsoon rains were 31 percent below average for the week ended June 25, weather office data showed on Thursday, the third straight week of poor rains after a delayed onset.

The June-September seasonal rains were 45 percent below average in the previous week as the progress of the monsoon halted after covering half of India four days later than the usual date.

The Agriculture Minister informed that states have been asked to keep aside 10 per cent of funds available under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) for undertaking appropriate interventions to mitigate drought like situation, if any, arising out of deficient rainfall.

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