On all four counts* … India scores badly. New Delhi has already seen street rallies protesting rising food prices. And if India needs higher subsidies, its weak and cash-strapped coalition government – dented anew by last week’s WikiLeaks claims – seems powerless to deliver them. The sovereign most exposed to an oil shock could be the least well prepared to deal with it.
*a country’s oil intensity (how much oil it takes to produce a unit of output), its energy trade balance, its current level of price inflation, and the government’s fiscal position. The first two give an indication of a country’s exposure to higher prices; the latter two suggest how much scope it has to absorb and defray them through fuel, electricity and food subsidies.