Dharmendra Pradhan defends high fuel prices citing govt spending on welfare schemes

Amid chaos over the rise in fuel prices which has crossed Rs 100-landmark in some states, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Sunday admitted that the current fuel prices are "problematic" for people but asserted that the government is saving money for welfare schemes.

 "I accept that the current fuel prices are causing trouble to the consumers, there is no ambiguity over it. But whether it is the Centre of the state governments over Rs 35,000 crore is being spent on vaccination during a year”, He said.

Petrol and diesel have risen to all-time high across the country after fuel rates rose by Rs 5.72 per litre to Rs 6.25 per litre in less than six weeks. This is due to a combination of rising international oil prices and record high central and state taxes.

Pradhan said central and state governments need additional money from the taxes on petrol and diesel to meet expenses for fighting pandemic as well as on development work.

Recently, the Prime Minister announced Rs 1 lakh crore spending for giving free food grains to the poor under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana." He also added that under PM Kisan scheme, thousand of crores have been transferred to the accounts of farmers and also mentioned that recently the minimum support prices for rice and wheat have been announced keeping in view the well-being of farmers, which have added to the government exchequer.

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