Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Strange but true. Diesel is now costlier than petrol in Bhubaneswar. Notably, it is also for the first time in the country that the diesel prices have overtaken petrol prices.

The cost of diesel today stands at Rs 80.69 per litre against the price of Rs 80.57 for one litre of petrol in Bhubaneswar.

Sources said that the deviation in the trend is mainly due to a slow decrease in the prices of diesel in comparison with the petrol prices which was slashed by 83 paisa on Saturday. The price of diesel per litre was slashed by a mere 35 paisa yesterday.

Sanjay Lath, secretary of Utkal Petroleum Dealers' Association said, "Usually there was a difference of 10 per cent in the prices of diesel and petrol. But in the last two months, the basic price of diesel is higher than petrol."

Lath further informed that this is mainly due to tax difference as the price of diesel is 13 paisa higher in Odisha while it is 13 paisa cheaper in New Delhi.

In other States, VAT on petrol in higher than diesel. But in Odisha, VAT on both petrol and diesel is pegged at 26 per cent.

Odisha Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera, on the other hand, blamed the wrong policies of the Centre for the rise in prices of diesel.

"It seems that either the oil companies are not in the control of the Centre or there is a nexus between them," said Behera.

Behera further said that the steep rise in the prices of diesel will add to further price rise of essential commodities which will directly affect the lives of consumers.

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