In a slew of significant data released by the Union Finance Ministry here on Thursday, the Government indicated that India's total external debt was US$ 376.3 billion as at the end of December 2012, an increase of 8.9 per cent from March on account of long-term and short-term components of the foreign borrowings.

The Centre’s fiscal deficit also touched 97.4 per cent of the budget estimates (BE) in the April-February period of 2012-13.

Unveiling the country’s debt position, an official statement said: “At end-December 2012, India's total external debt stock stood at USD 376.3 billion, reflecting an increase of USD 30.8 billion (8.9 per cent) over the level of USD 345.5 billion at end-March 2012”.

The increase in long-term debt, it said, was mainly on account of NRI (non-resident Indian) deposits and commercial borrowings, while the short-term debt component stood higher on account of trade-related credits.

The long-term debt, accounting for 75.6 per cent of the total external borrowings, stood at $ 284.4 billion at end-December 2012, up 6.4 per cent over March in the same year. Of this, commercial borrowings accounted for 30 per cent, followed by NRI deposits at 18 per cent and multilateral debt at 13.7 per cent. Short-term borrowings, comprising 24.4 per cent of external debt, increased by 17.5 per cent from end-March to $ 91.9 billion as of December 31, 2012.