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Alphons says fuel price hike meant to subsidise the poor
16 September 2017, 11:01 | Joann Bryant
Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam
Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala has said that Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam's statement that people who use petrol and diesel are rich enough, and the hiking of the prices of fuel is deliberate, was utter foolishness.
His comments came at a time when fuel prices are at a three-year high when global crude prices have crashed attracted strong criticism from opposition parties which described them as insensitive to the common man's problems. Somebody who has a auto, bike; certainly he is not starving.
The minister also said that those who can afford vehicle shouldn't be complaining about this price hike and must bear it for the sake of the country.
Justifying the rising fuel prices, Kannanthanam said, "Who buys petrol?"
Meanwhile, a group of Youth Congress activists began a march to present eyeglasses to Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday at his residence but were stopped by police.
The state unit of the BJP had come under criticism as on the day Alphons was sworn in, the state party headquarters wore a deserted look and the only celebrations was only at his home town in Kanjirapally.
This is not the first time Alphons made a controversial statement since he was made minister after Narendra Modi's latest cabinet reshuffle. "Lot of people do not have a house". "To make houses and toilets and to get electricity to every village, it is going to cost enormous amount of money", he said. "We are imposing taxes to help the poor".
The petrol and diesel prices have gone through the roof ever since the central government announced daily revision of fuel prices. He also added that numerous ministers in Modi's government are like this. "In India 30 per cent of the people are downtrodden and crores of rupees were needed for their welfare", he said.
But states were not willing to bring liquor and petroleum products under GST, he added.
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