Food and agriculture minister, Sharad Pawar told reporters today that excessive monsoon rain would not hit farm output. He added that the government would consult sugar producing states on lifting restrictions on the sugar sector.
He said the consultation process would take three to four weeks.
Pawar said that the government would provide Rs500 crore to drought-hit West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand to allow them to extend subsidy on diesel, that farmers use to power their water pump-sets.
Every farmer would get Rs500 per hectare as diesel subsidy, he said at a conference on the rabi crop season in New Delhi. He added that the decision was taken by the government yesterday at a high level meeting.
According to a presentation by agriculture commissioner Gurbachan Singh, West Bengal received 16 per cent less rainfall than normal between 1 June and 8 September, while Bihar and Jharkhand got 25 per cent and 48 per cent less rainfall respectively than normal.
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government has declared 11 of its districts drought hit, with Bihar giving a similar status to 28 out of 38 districts. Also Jharkhand has declared all 24 of its districts as drought hit.