New Delhi– The Indian government’s public debt increased to Rs 66.61 lakh crore by the end of the third quarter ending December, which represented a rise of 1.22 per cent over the previous quarter, official data showed on Thursday.

According to a Union Finance ministry release, the government’s debt (excluding liabilities under the Public Account) was Rs 65.80 lakh crore at the end of the previous quarter of the fiscal ended September.

“Internal debt and marketable securities constituted 93.1 per cent and 82.6 per cent, respectively of the total public debt as at end-December 2017,” it said.

“During the third quarter of fiscal year 2017-18, the government issued dated securities worth Rs 1,64,000 crore, lower than Rs 1,89,000 crore in the second quarter of fiscal 2016-17, thus leading to cumulative issuance of Rs 5,21,000 crore (87.0 per cent of 2017-18 RE) among others,” the report said.

“The trading volume of government securities on an outright basis also witnessed a decline of 21.6 per cent during the third quarter (Q3) of 2017-18 over the previous quarter,” it added.

According to the ministry, liquidity position in the economy remained broadly in surplus during the quarter.

“The cash position of the government during Q3 of FY18 was also comfortable and as a result the government did not resort to WMA (ways and means advances) from the RBI,” it said.

The Finance Ministry set up a Public Debt Management Cell in 2016 to better manage the government’s debt management functions. (IANS)