- Petrol, diesel rates at a three-year high despite dip in crude prices
- KJ Alphons says people with bikes and cars can afford higher prices
- Opposition slams remarks as insensitive, attacks government
Mr Alphons comments come at a time when petrol and diesel prices are at a high despite international crude prices declining 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.
This week, the Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari had asked if the central government qualified for the label of an "economic terrorist", a term that he claimed was used by the BJP when the Congress was in power for raising fuel prices.