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External debt at $471.9 bn in FY17, falls 2.7% from last year

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Long-term debt declines 4.4%, short-term debt drops 5.5%

Total external debt for the financial year 2016-17 stood at $471.9 billion, declining 2.7% from the previous year’s level, according to official figures released on Friday.

“India’s external debt stock stood at $471.9 billion at end-March 2017, decreasing by $13.1 billion (2.7%) over the level at end-March 2016,” the government said in a release. “The decline in external debt was due to the decrease in long-term debt particularly NRI deposits and commercial borrowings.”

“At end-March 2017, long-term external debt was $383.9 billion, showing a decrease of 4.4% over the level at end-March 2016,” the release said. “Long-term external debt accounted for 81.4% of total external debt... as compared to 82.8% at end-March 2016.”

‘India compares well’

Short-term external debt increased by 5.5% to $88 billion as of the end of March 2017. This, the release said, was due to the increase in trade related credits.

“An inter-country comparison based on ‘International Debt Statistics 2017’ of the World Bank, which presents the debt data for 2015, shows that India continues to be among the less vulnerable countries with its external debt indicators comparing well with other indebted developing countries,” the release said.

“The ratio of India’s external debt stock to gross national income at 23.4% was the fifth lowest and in terms of the cover provided by foreign exchange reserves to external debt, India’s position was sixth highest at 69.7% in 2015.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 1:16:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/external-debt-at-4719-bn-in-fy17-falls-27-from-last-year/article19694124.ece

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