India’s external debt jumps to $426 billion in December 2013

India’s external debt jumps to $426 billion in December 2013

India's external debt increased by $21.1 billion over the March 2013 level to $426 billion at the end of December 2013, particularly due to increase in NRI deposits, according to data released by the Finance Ministry.

While external debt increased, sovereign external debt slipped from $81.7 billion at end of March to $76.4 billion at the end of December last year.

At 63.6 per cent, the share of U. S. dollar-denominated debt was the highest in external debt stock at end of December last year. Indian rupee-denominated debt followed with 19.4 per cent of the total external debt. SDR, Japanese Yen and Euro-denominated debts stood at 7.1 per cent, 5.0 per cent, and 3.1 per cent, respectively.

In its quarterly report, the Finance Ministry said, "The Government's (Sovereign) external debt stood at $76.4 billion at end-December 2013 as against $81.7 billion (20.2%) at end-March 2013. The rise in external debt during the period was due to long-term debt particularly NRI deposits."

The ministry added that the steep rise in NRI deposits reflected the impact of fresh FCNR (B) deposits mobilized under the swap scheme during September to November period of last year.

The ratio of the country's external debt to its gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 23.3 per cent, up from 21.8 per cent at the end of the previous fiscal year. Debt service ratio was recorded at 5.9 per cent in FY2012-13.

The government has plans to borrow Rs 3.68 lakh crore in the first six months of the next financial year. The estimated figure accounts for 61.5 per cent of the country's total budget target for FY2014-15.

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