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'Car Owners Not Starving, Can Afford It': Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons Justifies Petrol Price Hike

"It’s an intentional decision by the government. We are going to tax people who can afford to pay. Only a person who has a car or bike will buy petrol. That person is certainly not starving,” said Alphons.

Neethu Reghukumar | CNN-News18

Updated:September 16, 2017, 1:40 PM IST
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'Car Owners Not Starving, Can Afford It': Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons Justifies Petrol Price Hike
Picture for representation. (Getty Images)
Thiruvananthapuram: Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons justified the hike in petrol prices stating that the money is being used for the welfare of the poor and the downtrodden.

"It’s an intentional decision by the government. We are going to tax people who can afford to pay. Only a person who has a car or bike will buy petrol. That person is certainly not starving,” said Alphons.

“We are imposing taxes to help the poor of this country lead a dignified life. They will have houses, toilets and basic amenities. All this money that is being collected is not being stolen by the Centre.”

Justifies his stand to News18, KJ Alphons said, "There is nothing wrong in what I said. People with a car or bike are in the upper class. They should pay up. How else will the poor be taken care of taken?"

“It was during the UPA regime that people’s money was stolen by the government. This is not the same government. We are here for the poor and the downtrodden. Uplifting them is going to cost a lot of money and we are going to tax people who can afford to pay,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Friday said that it would launch a nationwide agitation against the "draconian" increase in central excise duty on petrol and diesel, alleging it has led to a steep hike in their prices.

Accusing the BJP government of "looting" the common people and "profiteering" at their expense, Congress's senior spokesperson Ajay Maken said the party would continue its fight "until this draconian taxation regime is withdrawn".

He claimed that in every 100 rupees of petrol, Rs 51.78 was in taxes and Rs 44.40 for diesel.

He demanded a white paper on taxes imposed on fuels and the gains made by the government and said the party would agitate across the country.

The agitation would start on September 20 from the national capital.
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