India’s external debt to GDP ratio stood at 23.2 per cent at end-December 2014 vis-à-vis 23.7 per cent at end March 2014.
The rise in external debt during the period was due to long-term debt such as commercial borrowings and NRI deposits. Short-term external debt, however witnessed a decline during the period.
Long-term debt at end-December 2014 was placed at US$ 376.4 billion, reflecting an increase of 6.1 per cent over the level at end-March 2014. Long-term debt accounted for 81.5 per cent of total external debt at end-December 2014 vis-à-vis 79.5 per cent at end-March 2014.
India’s short-term external debt was US$ 85.6 billion at end-December 2014, showing a decline of 6.7 per cent over the level at end-March 2014. Short-term debt accounted for 18.5 per cent of total external debt at end-December 2014 as against 20.5 per cent at end-March 2014.
Valuation gain (appreciation of US dollar against the Indian rupee and other major currencies) was US$ 14.4 billion and as such accounted for the decline in the debt stock at end-December 2014 of equivalent amount. Hence in practical terms, the increase in debt would have been US$ 29.9 billion at end-December 2014 had there been no valuation gain.
The shares of Government (Sovereign) and non-Government debt in the total external debt were 19.5 per cent and 80.5 per cent respectively, at end-December 2014.
The share of US Dollar denominated debt was the highest in the country’s external debt stock and stood at 58.7 per cent at end-December 2014, followed by debt denominated in Indian rupee (26.4 per cent), SDR (6.3 per cent), Japanese yen (4.1 per cent) and euro (2.9 per cent).
The ratio of short-term external debt (original maturity) to foreign exchange reserves stood at 26.7 per cent at end-December 2014 (30.1 per cent at end-March 2014).
The ratio of concessional debt to total external debt declined to 9.2 per cent at end December 2014 from 10.4 per cent at end-March 2014.
India’s external debt data are disseminated on a quarterly basis with a lag of one quarter. Statistics for the first two quarters of the calendar year (ending March and June) are compiled and released by the Reserve Bank of India, while the data for the last two quarters (ending September and December) are compiled and released by the Union Ministry of Finance.