India’s total external debt for the end-September quarter 2017 rose by $23.9 billion or 5.1 per cent to $495.7 billion over the level of end-March period, official data showed on Friday.

According to data furnished by the Ministry of Finance, the debt level on a sequential basis increased by around $10 billion or 2.1 per cent to $495.7 billion, from $485.8 billion reported for the end-June period.

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

“The rise in external debt during the period was primarily due to the increase in foreign portfolio investment (FPI) in the debt segment of domestic capital market included under commercial borrowings,” said the quarterly report on external debt.

“Some increase in short-term debt primarily due to trade related credit also contributed to the overall increase in total external debt.”