India’s end-March external debt rises 2.6% to $543 bn

Mumbai: India’s external debt for the quarter ended March 2019 rose 2.6 percent or $13.7 billion to $543 billion on account of an increase in short-term debt, commercial borrowings and non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits.

According to the Reserve Bank of India’s external debt statistics released with a lag of one quarter, the country’s debt was $529.3 billion at the end of the previous corresponding quarter.

“At end-March 2019, India’s external debt witnessed an increase of 2.6 percent over its level at end-March 2018, primarily on account of an increase in short-term debt, commercial borrowings and NRI deposits,” RBI said.A

“The increase in external debt was partially offset by valuation gain resulting from the appreciation of the US dollar against the Indian rupee and other major currencies. The external debt to GDP ratio stood at 19.7 percent at end-March 2019, lower than its level of 20.1 percent at end-March 2018.”

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In terms of segment, US dollar denominated debt continued to be the largest component with a share of 50.5 percent at end-March 2019, followed by the Indian rupee (35.7 percent), Japanese yen (5 percent), SDR (4.9 percent) and euro (3 percent).

In addition, the RBI data showed said that outstanding debt of the government declined, while that of the non-government sector increased at the end-March 2019 period.


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