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
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.