Central teams are being deputed to Karnataka and Rajasthan to assess the drought situation there, the government told Parliament on Tuesday.

Karnataka and Rajasthan had declared drought in 142 out of 176 taluks and five of 33 districts respectively, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said in reply to a starred Lok Sabha question.

As per the August 12 India Meteorological Department report, the overall rain deficiency in the country was 16 per cent. Of the 36 met subdivisions, 15 received deficient rain and three got scanty rainfall.

Against an average area of 105.70 million hectares under kharif, 80.2 million hectares was sowed by August 8.

The government had introduced 50 per cent diesel subsidy in the affected States, enhanced seed subsidy, scaled up the central scheme on feed and fodder and waived (15 per cent) duty on imported oil cakes. Interim assistance had been released under the National Rural Drinking Water Programme and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme.

“The government will extend necessary assistance to affected States to mitigate the deficiency in monsoon rainfall,” the Minister said.

Besides Karnataka and Rajasthan, Haryana and Gujarat have declared some areas drought-hit. Maharashtra has also reported drinking water shortage in the central and Marathwada region.