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Kannanthanam defends fuel price hike; terms decision intentional

16 September 2017

Union tourism minister KJ Alphons stoked a controversy on Saturday when he justified fuel price hikes by saying that people who could afford vehicles should be paying the increased prices.

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.

His comments come at a time when the Modi government is facing criticism over the hike in fuel prices which are at a three-year high when worldwide crude prices have crashed.

"We are imposing the taxes so that the poor have a dignified life. So we are going to tax people who can afford to pay", Kannanthanam added. The government is still fleecing people when crude prices have come down, he said.

Speaking to media, Alphons said the government is for the welfare of the downtrodden, and ensure that every village gets electricity, houses and toilets are being made.

The money that we receive from the high fuel price would be punched towards the development of the country, the Union Minister had stated on September 15.

News 18 also quoted the minister as saying, "There is nothing wrong in what I said".

"At present, 67 percent of the population does not have access to toilets".

Former petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily called Alphons' defence of high prices as an atrocious and insensitive statement. "Numerous ministers in Modi's government are like this".

The petrol and diesel prices have gone through the roof ever since the central government announced daily revision of fuel prices.

"Anti-incumbency has set in against the government", he said.

Kannanthanam defends fuel price hike; terms decision intentional