No drought in the country: Pawar

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New Delhi, June 28 (ANI): Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Sunday said there is no drought-like situation in the country due to a delay in the onset of monsoon rains.

"There is no drought-like situation in the country due to delay in monsoons and the loss would be more than made up for in the rains during July and August," Pawar said.

He also denied rumours of a price rise, adding that food procurement was better this year compared to last year.

The government had enough reserve food stocks to tackle a drought-like situation should it exist, Pawar said.

Pawar's reassuring comments came even as the media played up fears of a drought.

The comments assume significance in the wake of the southwest monsoon advancing further into some parts of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and the southern regions of Chhattisgarh and Orissa.

The weatherman has forecast rain or thundershowers in some parts of northwest India, including Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, which are experiencing severe heat-wave conditions.

Even as Manipur declared itself to be drought-hit, the Centre said it had put in place a Crisis Management Plan to deal with the drought the country may face in the wake of the delayed monsoon.

The annual rainfall system is expected to cover some more parts of Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim in the next three or four days.

Mumbai, which experienced heavy rain on Friday, got some light showers early on Saturday. Delhi too is likely to receive rainfall over the next two to three days. (ANI)

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