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Car, Bike Owners Aren't Starving: Minister Alphons On High Fuel Prices

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  People who own bikes and cars are not starving and can afford to pay higher prices for fuel, Union Minister KJ Alphons said late on Saturday, drawing sharp criticism from the Congress that attributed the minister’s “insensitive” remarks to the long years that the minister had spent in the bureaucracy.

A former IAS officer who was called a “demolition man” for clearing encroachments on public encroachments in the national capital back in the nineties, the bureaucrat-turned-politician had inducted into the council of ministers less than a fortnight back.

Mr Alphons comments come at a time when petrol and diesel prices are at a three-year high despite international crude prices declining sharply by 50 per cent over the last three years.

“So we are going to tax people who can afford to pay. Somebody who has a car, bike; certainly he is not starving. Somebody who can afford to pay, has to pay,” the union tourism minister said.

“Prime Minister has a huge dream for the poor of India. What is that dream? It is very simple. 30 per cent of Indians go to bed without a full meal a day. Lot of our people do not have access to toilet. Lot of people do not have a house,” he said, according to news agency IANS.

(With inputs from IANS)