India’s external debt up slightly to $480 bn at December-end

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New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) India’s total external debt at the end of December was $480.2 billion, up by a marginal one percent over the figure at end-March last year, an official statement said on Thursday.

“As per data compiled by the department of economic affairs, India’s external debt stock stood at $480.2 billion, recording an increase of $4.9 billion (1.0 percent) over the level at end-March 2015,” a finance ministry statement said.

“The rise in external debt during the period was due to long-term external debt particularly commercial borrowings and NRI deposits.

“However, on a sequential basis, total external debt at end-December 2015 declined by $1.2 billion from the end-September 2015 level,” it said.

Long-term debt of $398.6 billion at end-December 2015 recorded an increase of $8.8 billion over end-March 2015.

Commercial borrowings at end-December 2015 stood at $183.6 billion, reflecting an increase of 1.5 percent, while NRI deposits at $122.6 billion rose by 6.5 percent over the end-March 2015 level.

Commercial borrowings and NRI deposits together accounted for 63.8 percent of India’s total external debt (long-term and short-term) at end-December 2015.

Government (sovereign) external debt stood at $90.7 billion at end-December 2015 while non-government debt amounted to $389.5 billion.

“The prudent external debt management policy of government of India has helped in containing rise in external debt and maintaining a comfortable external debt position,” the statement said.

Long-term external debt increased by 2.2 percent or $8.8 billion, while short-term debt registered a decline of 4.6 percent or $3.9 billion.

“Thus, the maturity profile of India’s external debt continues to be dominated by long-term loans,” it said.

The share of long-term debt in total external debt increased from 82 percent at end-March 2015 to 83 percent at end-December 2015.

US dollar denominated debt accounted for 57.6 percent of India’s total external debt, followed by Indian rupee (28.7 percent), IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) (5.8 percent), Japanese Yen (4.1 percent) and Euro (2.3 percent).

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