Look at how the Indian Economy has performed under Prime Minister Modi mapped against how much money we saved in Crude Imports versus the peak year of 2013-14.
What are these Oil savings?
In 2013-14 India Exported 3.8 lakh crores of Petroleum Products (Mostly Reliance) and Imported Rs 8.7 lakh crores of Crude resulting in expenditure of Rs 4.9 lakh crores (of precious currency)
However, after this 2013-14, this expenditure has been lower for 5 years until 2018-19 because Crude Oil Prices have fallen by nearly half since the 2011-14 period
It is in this financial year, 2019-20 that the expenditure crossed the 2013-14 levels
What I did in my chart is to subtract this expenditure with the expenditure in 2013-14 and arrive at a 'savings'. This saving peaked at 2.6 lakh crores in 2015-16. Therefore between March 2014 and March 2019, India 'saved' Rs 7.8 lakh crores. This financial year India will be -1 lakh crores over 2013-14.
Many would argue that a 95% correlation does not mean everything and I would agree. For example, the low growth in 2019-20 is also due to the NBFC Crisis. The economy would have done much better if not for the NPA crisis between 2014 and 2019. Further, while the so called savings had gotten better for a few years, the size of the economy had also become larger making its contribution much lesser.
But it is also foolhardy to deny a simple fact that India's economic performance since 2014 has ridden a lot owing to low crude prices. If one were to look at Food and Agricultural Organisation's Price Index, it is clear that Global Food Inflation was at its peak during the time India was also struggling in the 2011-13 period (same time crude prices were racing away), this has been much benign since 2014 when crude oil process started to go downwards. The Modi Government has relied too far on Crude Oil related taxes to balance its books. Some of that money has benefitted India but like every Government spending, much of the benefits are either inefficient or too long term in nature. Foreign Investment too started to take off as India's books got better (Owing to lower crude prices). So one cannot deny significant benefits owing to low crude prices.
Now that this so called savings are gone and even going to get worse (even at current crude oil price levels), the Government has to and is increasingly under pressure to take hard decisions that have been postponed for the last 6 years. This has become inevitable and probably good for India