An Indian state where petrol is cheaper than diesel
Bhubaneswar: October 21, 2018 became a historical day in the history of Odisha when diesel prices went higher than soaring petrol rates. A litre of diesel cost 12 paise more than that of petrol in Odisha on Sunday with Rs 80.69/ltr diesel and Rs 80.57/ltr petrol.
The reason for such surprising rate difference is said to be due to the VAT rates. In other states where different VAT rate is applied for petrol and diesel, in Odisha a uniform VAT system of 26 percent is followed for both petrol and diesel.
The ruling party of the state Janata Dal and opposition Congress blamed state's "faulty" fuel policy of the central government for the rise in diesel price.
Odisha Finance Minister S B Behera said, "This imbalance is mostly due to faulty policy of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. There could be a tactical understanding between the central government and oil marketing companies."
Increase in diesel price could also raise the prices of essential commodities, feared Behera.
BJP state general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan fired back at FM saying, "Finance minister (Behera) should be judicious while making a statement on an important issue. Everybody in the country knows the reason behind the rise in the prices of fuel. While 13 states have reduced VAT on the fuel, Odisha government is yet take a decision in this regard."
Senior Congress leader Arya Gyanendra said, "There is an inefficient government at the Centre which failed to regulate fuel price, particularly of diesel."
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan again asked the state government to bring down the rate of VAT to give relief to people.
According to Utkal Petroleum Dealers Association general secretary Sanjay Lath this was the first time when the price of diesel went higher than that of petrol.
Lath also blamed the decline in diesel sale for its high price.