The government on Monday said the country has witnessed 24 per cent less than normal rains so far this season, causing losses in the coverage of summer-sown crops, and expressed concern over high prices of pulses and sugar.
The observation was made at the meeting of Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA), which reviewed drought situation and price rise of essential commodities, an official statement said.
The Committee noted that specific measures, including providing power, diesel to save standing kharif crops and shifting to alternative crops that need less water, to tackle the drought situation.
The CCEA also noted that steps taken to increase the availability of pulses and sugar will help in controlling the price increase.
According to the statement, as on August 27 rainfall in the country as a whole was deficient by 24 per cent resulting in loss of crops sown area in kharif season. The deficit in rainfall was to the tune of 26 per cent a week before that.
As many as 278 districts in 11 states are affected by drought, the CCEA noted.
Sources said some specific decision is expected at a meeting of Empowered Group of Ministers on drought and prices rise tomorrow.