(FROM BARRON'S 11/3/14)
By Craig Mellow
A combination of good luck and courage has rekindled economists’ optimism about India just as the halo surrounding Narendra Modi, its new, purportedly pro-business prime minister, is beginning to fade. Good luck has come in the form of diving oil prices, which are easing the import burden that placed India on Morgan Stanley’s “fragile five” list of particularly troubled emerging markets last year. The courage is Modi’s. He took advantage of the price cut to eliminate diesel-fuel subsidies and raise regulated natural-gas prices by a third, saving India’s beleaguered budget close to 1% of gross domestic product and untangling a major market distortion.