New Delhi: A contingency plan for 500 districts to meet the situation arising out of a possible poor monsoon was discussed at a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today.
The meeting, attended by four Cabinet ministers— Agriculture, Food, Fertilisers and Water Resources—and three ministers of state was held at the Prime Minister's residence amid concerns over a poor monsoon impacting prices.
Modi reviewed in detail various issues relating to agriculture, rural development, water resources, organic farming, fertilisers and chemicals, and animal husbandry.
The Prime Minister was briefed by secretaries of the various departments on plans for these sectors. He stressed particularly on the need to reduce farmer distress and to boost the rural economy.
“In view of the possibility of a poor monsoon, the Ministry of Agriculture also presented a contingency plan for 500 districts,” a PMO release said after the meeting.
Agriculture Secretary Ashish Bahuguna made a presentation on key issues of the sector, including the monsoon.
The meeting was part of the series of review of various ministries, as the Prime Minister had mentioned in his meeting with Secretaries.
It was attended by Union Ministers Ananth Kumar, Uma Bharati, Ram Vilas Paswan and Radha Mohan Singh.
After the meeting, Modi tweeted: “Had a fruitful discussion on agriculture, rural economy, organic farming, soil health & other agri-related issues with Ministers & officials.
“We discussed how innovative ideas like ‘lab to land' approach can strengthen agriculture & help our farmers.”
As most of the discussion centred on the agriculture sector and the monsoon, presentations by other departments such as dairy and animal husbandry, food and consumer affairs, fertilisers and water resources could not be made.
Modi was updated about the government's preparedness to minimise the impact of a poor monsoon and informed that it is mulling relief measures such as providing subsidy to buy seeds for re-sowing and to purchase diesel for irrigation to protect crops, sources added.
The India Meteorological department early this week cut its June-September monsoon forecast to 93 per cent of the long-run average from an already below-normal 95 per cent projected earlier.