Tourism mantri Alphons defends fuel price hike
‘Those Who Can Afford To Pay, Should Pay’
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 state 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 Reserve Bank,” he said.
Criticising the minister for his remark, Ramesh Chennithala, leader of the opposition in Keala assembly, said: “Even children know that when the price of petrol and diesel is hiked, it will result in increase in prices of essential commodities.”