New Union Minister KJ Alphons made a statement on high fuel prices that could court controversy. The Minister said that hiked taxes on petrol and diesel are justified as such consumers can afford to pay and they are certainly not starving. Taking potshots at the earlier UPA regime, he said that the people’s money was stolen by the ministers, by the ruling party members. Our motto is very simple; we are here for the lowest, the downtrodden. To make houses for them, toilets, schools, to get electricity in every village, it is going to cost enormous amount of money (sic). So, we are going to tax people who can afford to pay,” he said. He added that “It is an intentional decision taken by the government. So we are going to tax people who can afford to pay. Who buys petrol? Somebody who has got a car or bike. Certainly he is not starving. Somebody who can afford to pay has to pay”.