In a series of tweets clarifying the low cost of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri took a jibe at the Gandhi family on Tuesday night. He shared a picture that shows them inside an aircraft and said, "Those who fly in luxury," should know what low ATF cost means. Mr Puri's tweet comes at a time when rising prices of petrol and diesel are being compared to lower ATF prices. ATF, used in aircraft, is now reportedly 30% cheaper than auto fuel.
Taking a dig at the union minister, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera responded the next morning by sharing an old picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with businessmen Gautam Adani and Vibhav Kant Upadhyay on board an aircraft. "Modi ji, @HardeepSPuri ji is saying bad things about you," he tweeted along with the picture.
Mr Puri had posted pictures on the social media website, one of which showed Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as children sitting with Sonia Gandhi and Indira Gandhi inside an aircraft. "Those who fly in luxury must know that low ATF prices make flying affordable & fulfil PM Modi Ji's vision of 'hawai chappal se hawai jahaaj' through UDAN scheme," he said.
Those who fly in luxury, must know that low ATF prices make flying affordable & fulfil PM Modi Ji's vision of ‘हवाई चप्पल से हवाई जहाज़' through UDAN scheme.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) October 19, 2021
Instead of questioning low ATF prices they should convince Congress-ruled states to reduce taxes & levies on fuel. pic.twitter.com/jMXQy5TUxD
He also pointed out that ATF has always been cheaper than consumer fuels, and the Centre charges only 2% central excise on ATF at UDAN airports. UDAN, part of the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the central government, is an airport development program aimed at upgrading underserviced air routes to make air travel cheaper and more widely available.
"Instead of questioning low ATF prices, they should convince Congress-ruled states to reduce taxes & levies on fuel," Mr Puri added.
Consumer fuel prices have seen a continuous hike in recent weeks; petrol is now at Rs 100-a-litre mark or more in all state capitals while diesel has touched the 100-mark in over a dozen states. ATF in Delhi costs Rs 79,020.16 per kilolitre or Rs 79 per litre.