A drought caused by a delayed monsoon and deficient rains have severely affected summer crops, also known as Kharif crop, in India this year. On Tuesday the 11th, India's federal Finance Minister announced that there is a 20 percent decline in the sowing of summer crops. [Pranab Mukherjee, Indian Finance Minister]: "Sixty-one districts have already been declared as drought prone. The kharif (summer crop) is a concern... the figures show a shortfall of almost 20 percent." Farmers have either dropped or delayed sowing of summer crops due to a lack of rain. However, the Finance Minister is not so worried and has confidence that the country can handle the crisis. [Pranab Mukherjee, Indian Finance Minister]: "Of course there is a contingency plan but there is no point of pressing the panic button because it will just go on chanting `drought, drought, drought' having an adverse impact. It will not give any relief. So all the measures that is necessary... In 1987 the country managed the century's worst drought. We transported drinking water by railways. We arranged fodder for the cattle. Therefore, the country has the experience and capability to handle the situation. I'll advise not to press the panic button." Since the beginning of June, the country has so far received little rainfall. This has been the driest period in more than 80 years. A timely monsoon is important to India's economy because it determines agricultural output, which contributes a fifth of <b>...</b>
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