India’s total external debt stock stood at $ 426.0 billion on 31 December 2013, 5.2 per cent higher than that on 31, March, 2013. The external debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has marginally worsened from 23.3 percent to 21.8 per cent, according to official data released on Friday.

The increase in external debt was due to long-term debt, especially Non Resident Indian (NRI) deposits, the release said: “A sharp increase in NRI deposits reflected the impact of fresh FCNR (Foreign Currency Non Resident) deposits mobilised under the swap scheme during September-November 2013”.

As a result, long-term debt at the end of December 2013 was $333.3 billion or 8.1 per cent higher than the end-March 2013 level. The short-term debt, however, decreased by 4.1 per cent to $92.7 billion. Short-term debt accounted for 21.8 per cent of the total external debt, the balance (78.2 per cent) was long-term debt.

Component-wise, according to the release, commercial borrowings accounted for 31.5 per cent of the total external debt, followed by NRI deposits (23.2 per cent) and multilateral debt (12.3 per cent). Government sovereign external debt stood at $76.4 billion, (17.9 per cent of total external debt) on 31 December 2013 against $81.7 billion (20.2 per cent) on 31 March 2013.