Bike, auto owners can afford costly fuel: Alphons Kannanthanam

Bike, auto owners can afford costly fuel: Alphons Kannanthanam

Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam on Saturday raged a controversy while he was defending the recent hike in fuel prices saying that it affects only vehicle owners and they must bear it for for the sake of the country.

The bureaucrat-turned-politician's comment come at a time when fuel prices are at a three-year high though worldwide crude prices have crashed, attracting criticism from opposition parties which described them as insensitive to the common man's problems.

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.

Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam today said the Centre was mobilising resources for launching infrastructure projects and welfare measures for the poor and downtrodden in the country.

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"So we are going to tax people who can afford to pay". It is very simple. "Numerous ministers in PM Modi's government are like this", Mr Moily said. 30 per cent of Indians go to bed without a full meal a day.

This is not the first time Alphons made a controversial statement since he was made minister after Narendra Modi's latest cabinet reshuffle. "There are several people who do not have access to toilet or a proper dwelling house", he added. The opposition parties have accused the government of being insensitive to the common man's problem.

Congress leader and former petroleum minister Veerappa Moily called it an atrocious statement. The government is still fleecing people when crude prices have come down, he said.

During the UPA regime, he added, benefit of low crude prices was always passed on to consumers.