Indias external debt rises to $136.5 bn in September

New Delhi, Dec 29 | Updated: Dec 30 2006, 05:35am hrs
Higher external commercial borrowings, NRI deposits and short-term debt pushed Indias external debt up 3.3% to $136.5 billion in September 2006 against the last quarter.

External debt rose by $4.3 billion from $132.2 billion at the end of June 2006, a finance ministry statement said. Long-term debt grew by $2.8 billion to $125.9 billion, while short-term debt rose 16.2% over the quarter to $10.57 billion by September-end on account of higher import bill.

In terms of their share in total debt stock, non-resident deposits accounted for 26.8 % of the debt. This was followed by multilateral debt at 24.6 % and commercial borrowings at 23.8 %. The share of bilateral debt stood at 11.5 %.Exports credit and rupee debt accounted for 4.1 % and 1.4 % respectively, the statement said.

In terms of components, long-term debt outstanding at $125.9 billion at September-end this year showed an increase of $2.8 billion over the last quarter. However, Rupee debt remained broadly at the same level as at the end of June quarter, while NRI deposits rose by $192 million.

Higher ECB, NRI deposits and short-term debt pushed up external debt
Long-term debt grew by $2.8 billion over the last quarter to $125.9 billion
Short-term debt rose 16.2% to $10.57 billion by Sept due to higher import bill

US dollar continued to be a major currency of denomination in the countrys external debt portfolio. Its share in the debt stock of the country increased from 40.4% by March end 2006 to 46.7 % on September 30, 2006, it said. Similarly, euro component also increased to 4.7% of debt stock at the end of September 2006 from 4.5 % at the end of 2005-06.

The statement also said, foreign currency assets of the RBI were of the order of $158.3 billion as on September 30, 2006, providing a cover of around 116% of the total external debt stock.

Quarterly report on debt also noted that over the years the composition of external debt shifted in favour of private debt. Non-government debt steadily increased from $39,506 million at the end of March 2005 to $90,120 million, accounting 66% of total external debt at the end of September.