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India faces monsoon deficiency

  |   July 24, 2012 at 1:15 AM
NEW DELHI, July 24 (UPI) -- Some parts of India face monsoon deficiency, the prime minister's office said, in urging all agencies to coordinate with states to deal with the problem.

The office of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said while there has been 22 percent less rain than expected this year, the government "has prepared extensive plans to deal with the deficiency," adding it "is in full readiness to address any situation that may arise due to any rainfall anomalies."

The announcement, noting the "progress of the monsoon so far has not allayed earlier concerns," urged all departments and ministries to co-ordinate with state governments "to meet any eventuality and monitor the situation on a weekly basis."

The announcement said the rainfall deficiency that existed at the end of June has lessened somewhat but "the intensity and spread of rainfall over the next week or so needs to be watched carefully, especially" in some of the states.

The announcement said the 84 major reservoirs in the country are beginning to get filled but current year storage is still 61 percent of last year's storage, and 78 percent of normal 10-year average storage. There has been a reduction of about 8 million hectares in the crop area sown compared to last year and the announcement said area reduction in coarse cereals is likely to persist.

Other reports said the government has sufficient buffer stocks of food supplies. However, the government is already tacking a slowing economy and high inflation and the rainfall deficiency could cause prices to rise further.

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