India's external debt rose 1% to $480 bn in October-December 2015

31 March 2016

India's external debt stood at $480.2 billion as of end-December 2015, recording an year-on-year increase of $4.9 billion (1 per cent) over the level at end-March 2015. However, on a sequential basis, total external debt at end-December 2015 declined by $1.2 billion from the end-September 2015 level, official data released today showed.

The rise in external debt during the three month period of October-December 2015 was due to long-term external debt particularly commercial borrowings and NRI deposits.

Long-term debt at end-December 2015 stood at $398.6 billion, showing an increase of $8.8 billion (2.3 per cent) over the end-March 2015 level. Short-term external debt witnessed a decline of 4.6 per cent and stood at $81.6 billion at end-December 2015.

At end-December 2015, long-term external debt accounted for 83.0 per cent of India's total external debt, while the remaining (17 per cent) was short-term debt. Component-wise, the share of commercial borrowings stood highest at 38.2 per cent of total external debt, followed by NRI deposits (25.5 per cent) and multilateral debt (11.1 per cent).

Government (sovereign) external debt stood at $90.7 billion at end-December 2015 while non-government debt amounted to $389.5 billion. The share of government (sovereign) and non-government debt in the total external debt was 18.9 per cent and 81.1 per cent respectively, as of end-December 2015.

The share of dollar-denominated debt continued to be the highest in external debt stock at 57.6 per cent at end-December 2015, followed by the rupee (28.7 per cent), SDR (5.8 per cent), Japanese yen (4.1 per cent), and euro (2.3 per cent).

The ratio of concessional debt to total external debt was 8.7 per cent at end-December 2015 (8.8 per cent at end-March 2015).

India's foreign exchange reserves provided a cover of 73.0 per cent to the total external debt stock at end-December 2015 vis-à-vis 67.5 per cent at end-March 2015.

The ratio of short term external debt to foreign exchange reserves was 23.3 per cent at end-December 2015 as against 26.7 per cent at end-March 2015.

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