Vehicle own­ers can pay for fuel: Alphons

Business Standard - - YOUR MONEY - PRESS TRUST OF IN­DIA

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

The money col­lected as taxes, goes for im­ple­ment­ing wel­fare schemes for the poor, he said, adding this was to en­able them have a dig­ni­fied life.

“To make houses and toi­lets and to get elec­tric­ity to ev­ery vil­lage... it is go­ing to cost enor­mous amount of money. So we are go­ing to tax people who can af­ford to pay,” he said.

On the rise in petrol prices, the min­is­ter queried, “Who buys petrol? Some­body with a car, some­body with a bike. Cer­tainly, they are not starv­ing. Some­body who can af­ford to pay has to pay.”

Asked about the in­crease in prices of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties in the wake of fuel price hike, Kan­nan­thanam said the four per cent in­fla­tion rate in the coun­try was less than half per cent pre­scribed by the RBI.

He said the tax on pe­tro­leum prod­ucts could come down if it was brought un­der the am­bit of GST.

How­ever, states were not ready to bring liquor and pe­tro­leum prod­ucts un­der GST, the said.

The min­is­ter said the Centre would con­sider bring­ing pe­tro­leum and liquor un­der the GST, if state gov­ern­ments agree to it.

The main fo­cus of the gov­ern­ment is the wel­fare of the poor and down­trod­den.

“The gov­ern­ment’s pro­gramme is to en­sure ba­sic ameni­ties in­clud­ing food, shel­ter, san­i­ta­tion and ed­u­ca­tion to the poor and this needed crores of ru­pees,” he said.

The rev­enue col­lected from pe­tro­leum prod­ucts was used for im­ple­ment­ing projects for them, he added.

“We are go­ing to tax people who can af­ford to pay (for fuel). Cer­tainly, they are not starv­ing. Yes we are im­pos­ing tax on pe­tro­leum prod­ucts. So that poor in the coun­try will have a dig­ni­fied life.”

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