Union Minister Ramdas Athawale candidly confessed Saturday that the increase in petrol and diesel prices did not bother him, thanks to the allowances he draws as a minister.
"I am not suffering from rising fuel prices as I am a minister," he said, referring to the allowances he gets.
"I may suffer if I lose my ministerial post," he continued, drawing laughter at a press conference.
He had been asked if he was personally affected by the rising prices.
The minister acknowledged that others are affected more.
"It is understandable that people are suffering from rising fuel prices and it is the duty of the government to reduce them," the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said.
He said the price of fuel can be reduced if the states cut the tax on it. The Centre is seriously working on the issue, he said.
Mr Athawale reviewed progress of the schemes run in Rajasthan by his ministry.
He urged officials to disburse scholarship amounts to students from scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other categories on time, deal with pending applications for inter-caste marriage and hold special camps to help the differently abled.
Mr Athawale heads the Republican Party of India, an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party.