India's external debt up $10.6 bn at $485.6 billion at end-March 2016

20 September 2016

India's external debt stock stood at $485.6 billion at end of March 2016, increasing by $10.6 billion (2.2 per cent) over the level at end-March 2015. The rise in external debt was due to the rise in long-term debt, particularly NRI deposits, data compiled from official sources showed.

At end-March 2016, long-term external debt stood at $402.2 billion, showing an increase of 3.3 per cent over the level of end-March 2015. Long-term external debt accounted for 82.8 per cent of total external debt at end-March 2016 compared to 82.0 per cent at end-March 2015.

Short-term external debt declined by 2.5 per cent from $84.7 billion at end-March 2015 to $83.4 billion at end-March 2016. This was mainly due to the decline in trade related credits. The share of short-term external debt in total external debt declined from 18.0 per cent at end-March 2015 to 17.2 per cent at end-March 2016.

Government (sovereign) external debt stood at $93.4 billion at end-March 2016 vis-a-vis $89.7 billion at end-March 2015. Government's share in total external debt stood at 18.9 per cent at end-March 2016 against 18.8 per cent at end-March 2015.

India's external debt is considered to be within manageable limits in 2015-16 on the back of increase in foreign exchange reserves to debt ratio to 74.2 per cent, the external debt-GDP ratio of 23.7 per cent, and fall in short term debt to 17.2 per cent.

External debt of the country continues to be dominated by the long-term borrowings.

The report presented in parliament quotes a cross country comparison based on ''International Debt Statistics 2016'' of the World Bank's debt data for 2014, which shows that India continues to be among the less vulnerable countries with its external debt indicators comparing well with other indebted developing countries.

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