‘Vehicle owners not starving, can afford to pay’: Union minister K J Alphons defends fuel price hike

The newly-inducted minister added that the government is focused on the welfare of the downtrodden, which costs "enormous amounts of money", and therefore the people who can afford to pay will be taxed.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 16, 2017 5:52 pm
Fuel prices, Alphons Kannanthanam, Kerala Tourism Minister, Union Minister of fuel prices, Fuel prices tax, India news, Indian Express Union Minister for Tourism Alphons Kannanthanam (PTI Photo)

In view of surge in fuel prices, newly-inducted Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam on Saturday said those who can afford to pay should do so, reported news wire ANI. The Kerala-based minister added that the tax collected from petroleum will be used to focus on the welfare of the downtrodden, which costs “enormous amounts of money”.

“Who buys petrol? Somebody who has a car, bike; certainly he is not starving. Somebody who can afford to pay, has to pay,” the Tourism Minister said. “It is going to cost an enormous amount of money. So we are going to tax people who can afford to pay.”

“The government is here for the welfare of the downtrodden. We will ensure every village is electrified and toilets and houses are built,” Kannanthanam added, reported ANI.

Read | Here’s why there is a sharp surge in petrol, diesel prices

On June 16, the Centre introduced its “dynamic” pricing model, leading to a surge in petrol and diesel prices. As prices reached their highest in nearly three years, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was forced to reiterate on Wednesday that the government the government does not plan to intervene to control prices.

Meanwhile, Kannanthanam also said the Centre has sanctioned several tourism-related projects in the state, which will be initiated after the on-going ones are completed. He has asked Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to ensure the incomplete ones are finished in a time-bound manner.

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