Bhubaneswar: The unthinkable has happened in Odisha and the state capital Bhubaneswar has entered the record books with diesel price surpassing petrol's.

On Sunday, a litre of diesel was sold at Rs 80.78 while petrol was Rs 80.65. On the previous day it was Rs 80.97 for one litre of diesel while petrol's cost per litre was Rs 80.90.

The cost of diesel has always been less compared to petrol. This is due to lower taxes, lower base price and lower dealer commissions. But, in recent times, the base price of diesel increased by about Rs five due to global demand.

As per the data available, fuel dealers pay about Rs 43.49 without tax for one litre of petrol while it is Rs 48.02 for diesel. The Union government charges excise duty of Rs 17.80 for petrol and Rs 13.83 for diesel and the dealer commission is Rs 3.50 for petrol and Rs 2.50 for diesel.

Utkal Petroleum Dealers Association's secretary Sanjay Lath explained why diesel's price had surpassed petrol in Odisha.

"Diesel is now costlier than petrol since VAT on both the fuels is the same 26% in Odisha, unlike in many other starts where it is lower on diesel," Lath was quoted as saying by The Times of India.

"The Odisha government has been misguided by a few officers. It should reduce VAT," Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan said.