At a time when the government is focused on managing the consequences of a deficient monsoon and its impact on food prices, it is likely to face trouble from another front. The price of India’s crude oil basket (COB), according to data from the ministry of petroleum, climbed to $89.8 per barrel on September 4. This is the highest this number has been since November 11, 2022 according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). With oil prices expected to stay at higher levels in the run-up to 2024 elections, the government’s balancing act between inflation and fiscal prudence could become even more difficult, although the availability of cheaper Russian imports could provide some cushion . Here are three charts which explain this argument in detail.