The steep fall in oil prices post 2014 was a key reason for the slide in India’s fiscal deficit as the government chose to raise taxes and keep prices at the pump elevated. Now, with oil prices hovering around $75 a barrel, up from $50 a barrel a year ago, it remains to be seen if, in an election year, the government is able to get away with keeping prices at the pump at high levels. A cut in taxes without a cut in government spending could see a return to higher fiscal deficit numbers the likes of which India saw in the early part of this decade.
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(This story appears in the 11 May, 2018 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)