India should keep election politics out of energy policy


India should keep election politics out of energy policy

The 30% slide in international crude oil prices from four-year highs notched in early October could well benefit the chances of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in India’s general elections, to be held in the spring.

In one of the world’s largest economies, with a burgeoning urban middle class, pump prices can quickly become a hot-button issue, especially if they hit historic highs, as happened early last year.

The burden of transportation cost inflation on the man on the city street is played to the hilt by the media and is easily politicized, with the ruling and opposition parties trading barbs. The effect is amplified in an election year.

The Modi government probably faced more heat than usual over last year’s spike in petrol and diesel prices because it had eliminated diesel subsidies shortly after Read More

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