India’s external debt rises to $335 billion

March 30th, 2012 - 6:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) India’s external debt rose to $334.9 billion at December-end 2011, an increase of 9.4 percent in the first nine months of the current financial year, owing largely to higher commercial borrowings and short-term trade credit, the finance ministry said Friday.

Data released by the department of economic affairs showed that India’s total external debt at the beginning of 2011-12 was $306.1 billion. It increased by $28.8 billion or 9.4 percent in the first three quarters of the fiscal. The government external debt stood at $81.2 billion, or 24.3 percent of total external debt.

The proportion of external debt to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) increased to 20 percent at December-end 2011 as compared to 17.8 percent at beginning of the financial year ending March 31, 2012.

The long-term debt rose to $256.9 billion at December-end 2011, recording an increase of $15.8 billion or 6.5 percent over the March-end 2011 level.

The short-term grew by $13.1 billion 20.1 percent to $78.1 billion during the period under review.

Short-term debt accounted for 23.3 percent of India’s total external debt, while the remaining (76.7 percent) was long-term debt.

Component-wise, the share of commercial borrowings stood highest at 29.9 percent, followed by Non-Resident Indian (NRI) deposits (15.7 percent) and multilateral debt (14.9 percent).

The ratio of short-term external debt to foreign exchange reserves was 26.3 percent at Dec 31, 2011 as compared to 21.3 percent at March 31, 2011.

India’s foreign exchange reserves provided a cover of 99.6 percent of the country’s total external debt at the beginning of fiscal 2011-12, while it declined to 88.6 percent by the end of the third quarter.

The share of US dollar denominated debt was the highest in external debt stock at 56.9 percent, followed by the Indian rupee 18.6 percent, Japanese Yen 10.4 percent, special drawing right (SDR) 8.9 percent and Euro 3.8 percent.

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