Fuel price hike: Peo­ple with cars and bikes are not starv­ing, says Union min Alphons

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES NATION -

Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram: Union min­is­ter for IT and tourism Alphons Kan­nan­thanam jus­ti­fied the rise in fuel prices, say­ing “some­body who can af­ford to pay, has to pay”, a re­mark that was widely in­ter­preted as en­dorse­ment of a ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’ ap­proach. “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”, he told re­porters af­ter vis­it­ing the BJP of­fice here on Satur­day.

“Our motto is sim­ple. We are here for the wel­fare of the low­est. To make houses and toi­lets and to get elec­tric­ity to ev­ery vil­lage, it is go­ing to cost enor­mous amount of money,” he said.

The min­is­ter also de­nied re­ports that diesel price rise has es­ca­lated price of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties. “The aver­age rate of in­fla­tion is still less than the limit pre­scribed by the RBI,” he said. Crit­i­cis­ing Alphons for his re­mark, Ramesh Chen­nithala, leader of the op­po­si­tion in Ker­ala as­sem­bly, said: “Even chil­dren know that when the price of petrol and diesel is hiked, it will re­sult in an in­crease in prices of es­sen­tial com­modi­ties.”

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