Deficit rainfall in June in western and central India could affect pulses output, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar told reporters on Friday on the sidelines of a conference here.

Mr. Pawar acknowledged that the late monsoon had had a crippling effect in Maharashtra, Karnataka and the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh.

As part of efforts to remedy the situation additional cultivation area for pulses was being sought out in Punjab and Haryana and financial concessions to farmers were being worked out.

The Minister said he had convened a meeting of top agriculture scientists in the next 10 days to ponder the issue.

He, however, said production of rice and paddy was “unlikely to be affected.”

“There is a deficit of 31 per cent that would be made up by rainfall in July and August,” Mr. Pawar said adding rainfall would be 96 per cent for the remainder of the monsoon and that the situation, as of now, was not worrisome.