MP energy minister on fuel price hike: ‘Riding bicycle healthy, keeps pollution away’ – The Indian Express

Madhya Pradesh Energy Minister Pradhuman Singh Tomar on Tuesday made a controversial statement regarding the surging fuel prices in the country, saying riding bicycles will keep us healthy and curb pollution.

Talking to the media, Tomar said, “Who uses petrol and diesel? Do we go to the vegetable market by cycle? It will keep us healthy and will end pollution. Is petrol and diesel necessary for our health?”

Tomar also stated, “I did this for myself too. If you pick up my diary for 30 days, you will know how many days I walk, go in a car or on a cycle”.

In a video shared by news agency ANI, the minister agreed the prices were high, but said “the money was not going to any leader’s house but to the poor people”. Free ration is being given to people till Diwali, he added.

Earlier, Union oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan too had said that though high fuel prices were a problem, government expenses were up due to Covid relief measures, and “the Centre is saving money to spend on welfare schemes”.

“I accept that fuel prices are pinching consumers, there’s no doubt about this. But over Rs 35,000 crore has been been spent on Covid vaccines in a year. Rs 1 lakh crore has been spent on Pradhan Mantri Gareeb Kalyan Yojana in order to provide eight months’ ration to the poor. A few thousand crores of rupees have also been transferred to farmers’ bank accounts under PM Kisan…In such dire times, we’re saving money to spend on welfare schemes,” Pradhan had said.

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