Alphons: 'Have a vehicle? Can afford fuel hike then'
Bureaucrat-turned politician and Union Tourism Minister KJ Alphons created a controversy when he made a statement that those who can buy vehicles can afford to pay the increased fuel prices. These comments may be ill-timed because presently, fuel prices are at a three-year high though international crude prices have plummeted. What were his other statements? How did the opposition react? Read on to know.
Alphons said that taxes collected through petroleum are used for the "welfare of the downtrodden" as that costs "enormous amounts of money." He criticized the UPA government saying that unlike them, the Modi-led government does work for the poor. He asserted that houses and schools had to be made and for this purpose they "are going to tax people who can afford to pay."
Currently, prices have reached a three-year high after the Centre introduced its "dynamic" pricing model in June that led to an increase in petrol and diesel prices. Further, the government has re-iterated that it does not wish to intervene in controlling prices.
The opposition was quick to react to these statements saying that Alphons was insensitive to the common man's problems. Congress leader Veerappa Moily said "This is how bureaucrats, who come to politics, have no understanding of people's problems. Many of the ministers in Modi's government are like this." Meanwhile, Congress is organizing a nationwide agitation to protest the increased excise duty on petrol and diesel.
Recently, after Alphons's cabinet induction, he said that the BJP has no code about beef-eating. However, later, he disavowed that statement when asked whether the beef ban will affect the tourism sector. He said "Tourists can eat beef in their own country and come here."