Thiruvananthapuram: Defence Minister A K Antony on Saturday called upon the people to take anti-corruption pledge as bribery was growing in the country.
Launching Kerala governemnt`s `Poverty-Free` scheme for supply of rice at Rs 1 per kg to BPL families, Antony said, it was a matter of grave concern that it had become a normal practice that people had to give bribe for getting benefits of government schemes.
Without mentioning the ongoing fast by Gandhian Anna Hazare, the Congress veteran said, people`s anger against this danger generated in many forms in the country. "So, we should take a pledge against corruption", Antony said.
He said, the government should ensure that welfare schemes reached the targeted groups without any hitch.
"People have lost faith in announcements. They think that for getting government benefits, they have to grease the palm of somebody", he said.
Though India had achieved progress in many fields after independence and had become a world economic power, the country still had two tiers- one shining India and the other, where the people live in poverty, he said.
Efforts of the UPA government was to ensure inclusive growth by taking steps to provide basic needs of the common man, while implementing development works, he said.
Inaugurating the scheme of supplying free Onam kit to BPL famililes, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said, the government`s aim was to have a permanent set up to check price rise of essential commodities.
Under the scheme, 21 lakh BPL families would get 25 KG rice per month at Rs 1 per kg and 35 kg for families under Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme at Rs 1 kg.
Speaking on the occasion, Food and Civil Supplies minister T M Jacob said, necessary quantity of rice had already reached in the more than 14,000 rations to start the supply.
Jacob said, the Onam kit would contain rice and sugar besides other essential articles. A total of Rs 19 crore had been earmarked for the scheme, he said.
Povery-free Kerala project of supplying one rupee per kg rice was one of the 100-days programmes announced by the Congress led UDF government.
It completed 100-days in office on August 25.