THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Union Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam has justified the fuel price hike. Those who are using vehicles are not poor. The revenue from fuel price hike is being used for various welfare projects for the poor, the minister said. During his visit to the BJP state headquarters on Saturday, Kannanthanam told reporters it was a deliberate decision by the government. He said the government was aware of the protests against hike in fuel prices.
The Union Minister said the increased revenue from petrol and diesel price hike would go to major development and welfare activities for the people. About 67 pc of people in the country don’t have toilet facilities. The additional revenue from fuel price hike would help build houses and toilets for them and other projects like construction of national highways.
Elaborating on fuel price hike, Kannanthanam said fuels like petrol and diesel are bought by vehicle users. Those who own vehicles are not from the financially weaker sections. About 30 pc of Indians are starving. The Modi Government gives high priority for their uplift. If the state governments agree, fuel and liquor would be brought under GST. The price hike in the country is only 4 pc which is less than what the RBI has fixed, Kannamthanam said.
‘Development of Tourism-IT sectors should be fast-paced’
The Union Tourism Minister said development of Kerala’s tourism and IT sectors should be more fast-paced. Kannanthanam said he has asked Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to implement projects in a time-bound manner. Kerala, which was once top in IT development, has lost its upper hand. There are many tourism projects already sanctioned. Also, there are plans to implement many projects. However more funds can be sanctioned only if the sanctioned projects are finished on time. This has been communicated with the Chief Minister, Kannanthanam said.
According to the minister, about 67 pc of people in the country don’t have toilet facilities. The additional revenue from fuel price hike would help build houses and toilets for them and other projects like construction of national highways.