Thiruvananthapuram: Defence Minister A K Antony today 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 one 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 targetted groups without any hitch. 'People have lost faith in announcements. They think that for getting government benefits, they have to grease the palm of someboy', he said.
Though India had achived 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 commonman while implementing development works, he said. Inaugurating the scheme of supplying free Onam kit to BPL famililes, Kerrala 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 one per kg and 35 kg for families under Antyodaya Ann Yojana schem at Rs one 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. PTI