NEW DELHI: In what could pose a big problem for the Centre and may shot up prices of essential commodities, the union government Tuesday said that monsoon rainfall over the country is expected to be deficit this year. It brought downgraded earlier forecast from normal to deficit.
Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was monitoring the developments closely and has directed all concerned ministries to make necessary preparations and take action so that the common man is not affected.
The cabinet secretary is meeting concerned officials this evening to discuss the situation arising out of deficit monsoon and put in place necessary measures. The country was expected to receive 88 percent of the normal rainfall against 93 percent which was forecast in April.
The worst effected will be the northwest India which covers country’s grain bowl states of Haryana and Punjab. It is likely to receive just 85 percent of normal rainfall.
"The latest forecast is bothering me as the rainfall this monsoon is likely to be 88 percent-- plus or minus four percent -- of normal rainfall which id down from 93 percent in April,” said Vardhan, owing the deficit to development of El Nino condition caused by rise in sea surface temperatures in the equatorial Pacific.
The onset of monsoon has been delayed and is now expected to touch Kerala by June 5. Earlier, The IMD has forecast May 30 as the date for onset of monsoon. Monsoon reaches Kerala by June 1.