In India’s reforms agenda, oil takes a starring role

From heavily subsidizing diesel prices to unshackling its transport fuel prices from controls and completely aligning it with the global market, India’s oil sector reforms have come a long way over the past three years. The country’s state-owned oil marketing companies on June 16 started daily adjustment of prices of gasoline and diesel — two products that together account for about 60% of total oil products consumption. With India importing about 80% of its crude oil needs, the move to revise retail prices daily is an effort to minimize volatility, increase price transparency, and help marketing companies cut losses. Before this move, motor fuel prices at pumps were revised on the first day and in the middle of every month. Private retailers such as Reliance Industries Ltd. and Essar Oil account for a much smaller share of the retail oil transport fuels market, but they are also expected to follow suit. The latest move on retail pricing — adjusting prices in line with global price fluctuations — is one of the many reforms the central government has initiated amid robust growth in domestic oil demand. LET’S LEAVE IT TO MARKET FORCES After coming to power in May 2014, the BJP-led

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