Mumbai–India’s foreign debt at the end of March 2016 was at $485.6 billion, up by $10.6 billion from that at the end of the same month last year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Thursday.

“India’s external debt at end-March 2016 witnessed an increase of 2.2 per cent over its level at end-March 2015, primarily on account of a rise in outstanding NRI deposits,” RBI said in a statement here.

The increase in the size of external debt was partly offset by valuation gain resulting from the appreciation of the US dollar vis-a-vis the Indian rupee and other major currencies, it added.

The debt at the end of the last financial year was up $5.4 billion from the $480.2 billion registered at end-December 2015.

RBI placed the valuation gain, due to appreciation of the US dollar at $5.9 billion.

“Excluding the valuation effect, the increase in external debt would have been higher by $16.4 billion at end-March 2016 over the level at end-March 2015,” RBI said.

The share of residual maturity short-term debt at end-March 2016 constituted about 42.6 per cent of the country’s total external debt, compared with 38.2 percent at end-March 2015, and stood at 57.4 per cent of the total forex reserves, it added.

“US dollar denominated debt continued to be the largest component of India’s external debt with a share of 57.1 per cent at end-March 2016, followed by Indian rupee (28.9 per cent), SDR (5.8 per cent), Japanese Yen (4.4 per cent) and Euro (2.5 per cent),” the statement said. (IANS)


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