Is the Indian economy insulated from the world economy? It seems union finance minister thinks so, though there are pointers to the contrary.
On Sunday, while speaking at the Partnership Summit -- jointly organised by the Andhra Pradesh government and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Jaitley said that the current slump in oil and commodity prices is a boon for India.
"The low oil price regime and the low commodity price regime substantially suit us because we are net buyers of these," the minister said, reported The Economic Times.
But he is not entirely correct.
India has been affected by the prolonged weakness in the global economy, which grew at 2.4% last year, according to the World Bank. The recovery will be "anaemic" this year, with growth forecast at 2.9%, the bank said in its Global Economic Prospects released on 6 January.
This has adversely affected India, which suffered a 12th straight month of decline in merchandise exports in November and is expected to end fiscal year 2016 at $270 billion, a 13% drop from $309 billion achieved last fiscal.
If the country indeed ends the financial year that way, it will hit a four-year low.
The cumulative value of merchandise exports for the April-November 2015 period was $174.3 billion, down 18.46% from $213.77 billion in the corresponding period last year.
The sharp fall can be attributed to the drop in petroleum product exports, which have plunged by about 52%, according to government data.
"A closer look at the trade figures gives a satisfactory explanation for divergence in these figures. Petroleum product exports have fallen by 52%. In the case of petroleum products, there has been steep decline in raw material prices, namely, crude oil," the ministry of commerce & industry said on 22 December, 2015, defending the steep fall in merchandise exports.
When coupled with the fact that exports account for about 20% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and also labour-intensive in some sectors such as gems and jewellery, Jaitley's assertion that low price regime suits India is not entirely correct.