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India’s external debt rises to $485.8 bn

IANS | Mumbai |

India’s total external debt for the end-June quarter 2017 rose to $485.8 billion, from $471.9 billion reported for the end-March period, official data showed on Friday.

However, on a year-on-year (YoY) basis the debt level increased by 1.29 per cent over the corresponding period of the previous fiscal.

“At end-June 2017, India’s external debt witnessed an increase of 3.0 per cent over its level at end-March 2017, primarily on account of an increase in inflow of foreign portfolio investment into the debt segment of domestic capital market encompassed under commercial borrowings,” the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said.

“The increase in the magnitude of external debt was partly due to valuation loss resulting from the depreciation of the US dollar vis-à-vis the Indian rupee and other major currencies.”

According to the RBI, external debt to GDP ratio stood at 20.3 per cent as at end-June 2017, a shade higher than its level of 20.2 per cent at end-March 2017.

“Valuation loss due to depreciation of the US dollar vis-à-vis the Indian rupee and other major currencies was placed at $1.72 billion,” the RBI elaborated.

“Excluding the valuation effect, the increase in external debt would have been around $12.24 billion instead of $13.96 billion as at end-June 2017 over the level at end-March 2017.”

The RBI disclosed that commercial borrowings continued to be the largest component of external debt with a share of 37.8 per cent, followed by NRI deposits (24.3 per cent) and short-term trade credit (17.9 per cent).

As per standard practice, India’s external debt statistics for the quarters ending March and June are released by the RBI with a lag of one quarter and those for the quarters ending September and December by the Ministry of Finance.