An Upshot of Diesel Becoming Overpriced Than Petrol in Odisha

While creating a never estimated class of record, for the first time in the country, diesel has become a costlier thing than petrol. Conservatively, as it is acknowledged by every Tom, Dick, and Harry, the diesel costs not as much of petrol for the reason that the taxes imposed on diesel are less than that of petrol.

However, the present situation in Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar is  — a liter of diesel costs 12 paise more than that of petrol. As on October 21, 2018, a liter diesel was sold at ₹80.69 while a corresponding quantity of petrol was sold at ₹80.57.Unsurprisingly, the blame game among the ruling and opposing political parties has been continuing over the issue. The inference arrived at is against the policy of the central government for the rise in the price of diesel. One interesting fact is — Odisha government inflicts 26% of VAT on both diesel and petrol. The varying prices of petrol and diesel thus attained a level of point wherein the diesel price has become dearer than that of petrol.

Coming to the point of our argument, Odisha is the 11th most densely inhabited state in India, and it is home to more than 42 million people. Despite the fact the state persisted mostly in poverty for a long-term, there has been a palpable reduction in the poverty levels in the state, after 2005. Nevertheless, even on this date, the poverty level is still very tall. The surprising figures about Odisha are — the south and west districts in the state are among the poorest places in the country. Moreso, the state is home to more than 14 million poor people.On the other hand, the state is slowly picking up the gear to move forward. The growth of the state is higher as compared to low-income states of India. As far as the state’s ranking among the most poverty states is concerned, Odisha stands second among the 14 States in the country with the highest incidence of poverty. It is placed just next to Bihar. According to the latest available statistics, while Bihar outdid the list with record-keeping percentage of 33.34% of poor people, Odisha followed with 32.59%. As far as the state administration is concerned, they expressed satisfaction that it has recorded the highest reduction in poverty among all major States in recent times.

Now, there arises a million dollar question: what concern the poverty of Odisha has to do with the burning diesel prices that have beaten the petrol rate. There is a convinced connexion between poverty and rising fuel prices. Even though it is not said, the hike in fuel prices is a squat spell affair. The rise in fuel prices, mostly that of diesel, would burden the common man indirectly in many ways. The transportation costs that would incur for the transportation of goods and commodities would have its effect on the rising prices.The shrewd presiding administration, after increasing the fuel prices by 15% or so in less than four months, has reduced it just by 2% — it degrees to a meager drop. Also, it is nothing more than a sort of the action that the government is simply icing an injury without taking any serious action to reduce the fuel prices, eternally.

Clearly, the present case in point speaks that the fringe difference which used to be more than 30 rupees between the diesel and petrol has become very thin, these days. This is a vibrant warning that the prices of diesel have become dearer than that of petrol. This change has a very deleterious reflexion on the well-being of the masses.

In this background, there is a great need that the presiding governments should grasp the rippling effect of the rise in petrol prices. The prices of all the commodities will increase compliant with the rise in the petroleum products. Ultimately, the burden will be on the common man, who lives on the daily wages. Due to the hidden threats imposed by the rise in fuel prices, the government needs to arrive at a perpetual policy, instead of considering the instantaneous measures whose impact is not seen over a period of time.

– Dr. Suman Kumar Kasturi