India’s external debt fell to $510.4 bn at end-September

Reserve Bank of India
Reserve Bank of India (RBI)

Mumbai, Dec 31 : India’s external debt in the first-half of this fiscal fell 3.6 per cent by $19.3 billion to $510.4 billion owing to a decrease in commercial borrowings, non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits and valuation effect, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Monday.

As per the RBI’s external debt statistics released with a lag of one quarter, the country’s debt stood at $529.7 billion at the end of the last fiscal in March.

“At end-September 2018, India’s external debt witnessed a decline of 3.6 per cent over its level at end-March 2018, on account of a decrease in commercial borrowings and non-resident Indian (NRI) deposits,” an RBI statement said.

“The decrease in the magnitude of external debt was primarily due to valuation gains resulting from the appreciation of the US dollar against the Indian rupee and major currencies.”

Valuation gains on account of the dollar appreciation during the period in consideration were placed at $25.4 billion.

“Excluding the valuation effect, the increase in external debt would have been $6.1 billion instead of a decrease of $19.3 billion at end-September 2018 over end-March 2018,” the central bank said.

Of the country’s total external debt, commercial borrowings continued to be the biggest component with a share of 37.1 per cent, followed by NRI deposits (23.9 per cent) and short-term trade credits (19.9 per cent).

The long-term debt with original maturity of over one year at the end of September was at $406.1 billion, registering a decline of $21.4 billion over the level at the end of March.

According to the RBI, the US dollar-denominated debt continued to be the largest component of the external debt with a share of 49.7 per cent at end-September, followed by the rupee (36.1 per cent), IMF Special Drawing Rights (5.3 per cent), the yen (4.7 per cent) and the euro (3.2 per cent).

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