NEW DELHI (AFP) - India faces a severe drought but the countrys ample food grain stock will ensure no one goes hungry, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Saturday. Monsoon rains, the lifeline for farms that support more that half of Indias 1.1 billion population, have been scant and about 40 per cent of Indias districts have declared a drought. No one has control over drought. Its a severe drought, said Manmohan during a trip to the arid western state of Rajasthan to inaugurate a giant new oilfield, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Indias Meteorological Department (IMD) said Saturday the country faced a 24-pc annual rainfall deficiency, but patchy rains are expected during the end of the monsoon season. The last few sporadic showers could help the winter crop that is sown around October-November, director of the IMD, BP Yadav, told AFP. The Indian Premier said there were sufficient food grain stocks to support the Public Distribution System, a government network that manages food distribution and the supply of grains to poor households at subsidised levels. We will ensure that people below the poverty line are not hit, he said. Commodity experts say Indias current food stocks are enough to feed the poor who would be eligible for state support for three months. For Indias 235 million farmers, a bad monsoon can spell financial disaster because of the lack of irrigation. Low rains have ravaged Indias rice, cane sugar and groundnut crops, and have disrupted the flow of water into the main reservoirs that are vital for hydropower generation and winter irrigation. Traders and commodity analysts said the challenge for the government is to maintain a steady supply of foodgrains in the market to ensure stable prices and prevent hoarding and black marketing. India has ample stock of foodgrains but the supply system is marred by corruption at several levels, the food allocated to the poor is often siphoned off by making false entries in the records, said Keshav Kejriwal, an analyst with a private commodity trading firm in New Delhi. Rajasthan, where the prime minister visited on Saturday, has declared a drought in 26 out of 33 districts leading to an expected 50pc cut in the crops due to poor monsoon this year, Kejriwal said