Irrigation can reduce impact of late monsoon: Ahluwalia

India can withstand its adverse impact the delay in the monsoon to some extent on the strength of its rural irrigation infrastructure, says Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. 

Speaking to reporters, Ahluwalia though a bad monsoon would affect agriculture, some of the impact would be countered because of sufficient irrigation.

"The country can withstand drought... even if agricultural production goes down a bit during the Kharif, it can be made up in Rabi," he said.

Admitting the concern over the delay in the monsoons, Ahluwalia said it was still too premature since a revival in the near future would reduce the the impact of agricultural output.

"Monsoon is a very complex system and the fact that it is delayed by two weeks does not mean that it is not going to recover," he added.

On the latest projection of 93 per cent rainfall, which is below the normal, he said, the normal range lies between 80 per cent and this forecast of 93 per cent rainfall and is smaller than the earlier projection and still within the normal levels, Ahluwalia said.