Retrospective taxes. Asking OPEC to reduce production. Raising oil prices at the pump. India’s perplexing actions on energy seem designed to defeat the Modi government’s declared goals of disinvestment of the public sector and welcoming foreign capital.
India has benefited from three years of low petroleum prices. The tide is now turning, with oil moving from a benign $50 to $70 a barrel. This is a good time for it to start using financial instruments and asset purchases, as other countries do, to protect itself against further price rises
The common Indian complaint is that, despite a global trend of falling crude oil prices, the price of petrol has not reduced. However, if the dollar price is examined with the price of oil, it becomes clear that Indians are paying less for fuel now than they would have, had the 2003 pricing trend continued.