Experts not optimistic about revival of monsoon: Pawar

Pune: With the country receiving deficient rainfall, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Sunday said weather experts did not seem to be optimistic about revival of monsoon in the parched regions, forcing the government to draw water management plans till July next year.

"Reports from experts on the monsoon making up the deficit in the rest of the season are not optimistic. We are making plans for water management till July 2013 (next year`s monsoon)," he said addressing a function here.

Pawar, however, noted that the stocks of food grains were adequate and there was "no cause for worry" on that count.

Earlier, at a function in Thane, Pawar said the country may face a "serious" situation if it does not rain in the next two months. "Everything depends on the return of rains in August and September. But if it doesn`t, the situation would become serious," he said.

Besides Maharashtra, sowing operations in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka had been adversely affected due to weak monsoon, he said in Pune, adding that the Centre would support state governments to overcome the drought-like situation.

"I will be holding meetings with the affected state governments from August 1 to review the situation and discuss support measures," Pawar said, adding that not a drop of water should be wasted. He also appealed to all political parties to bury differences and support the government in meeting the challenge.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said in view of the drought-like situation in the state, the government might be constrained to make certain cuts in its annual budget.

Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab and West Rajasthan have been the worst-hit regions this year with monsoon deficiency ranging upto 75 per cent in Saurashtra and Kutch, accordign to the weather office data.