Vehicle owners can afford to pay for fuel: Alphons

Vehicle owners are people who are “not starving” and can afford to pay for petrol, Union minister Alphons Kannanthanam said, defending the fuel price hike.

He said the tax was aimed at mobilising resources for infrastructure projects.

“All the money collected goes to the poor and it is an intentional decision taken by the government,” Alphons told reporters. He was speaking after visiting the BJP state head office for the first time on assuming charge as Union Minister for Tourism and IT.

“So we are going to tax people who can afford to pay. Who buys petrol… somebody with car, somebody with a bike. Certainly, they are not starving. Somebody who can afford to pay, has to pay,” he said.

“Yes we are imposing tax on petroleum products… So that poor in the country will have a dignified life,” the minister said.

He said the funds are being used among other things to build toilets and houses for the poor.

When pointed out that the BJP had opposed fuel price hike during the UPA regime, Alphons said the government was using the money for the poor and the downtrodden.

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

(Agencies)

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