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India's external debt up 6.47% to $112.13 bn

July 07, 2004 12:35 IST

The pre-Budget Economic Survey on Wednesday sounded alarm bells saying the external debt has jumped by 6.47 per cent to $112.13 billion till 2003, mainly due to the surge in short-term debts.

India's external debt was at $83.801 billion at the end of March 1991 and maintained an upward trend till 2001 at $101.132 billion. It subsequently came down to $98.757 billion by the end of March 2002, the Survey tabled in Parliament, said.

Despite the rising external debt, the Survey said the external debt-GDP ratio improved from 28.7 per cent in 1991 to 20.2 per cent at the end of March 2003.

During the same period, short-term debt to total external debt ratio declined from 10.2 per cent to 4.4 per cent, the Survey said, adding it marginally increased to 5.1 per cent by the end of December 2003.

Economic Survey 2003-2004: Complete Coverage

There was a big leap in short-term debt to foreign currency assets ratio from 382.1 per cent at March end 1991 to 5.9 per cent in 2003 December-end.

Indicating higher capacity of India to meet debt service obligations, debt service to current receipts ratio improved from 35.3 per cent at the end of March 1991 to 15.8 per cent by the end of March 2003.

However, this ratio subsequently rose to 18.1 per cent by December end 2003 due to redemption of Resurgent India Bonds.

India's share of concessional debt in the total external debt is the highest in the world particularly among the top 15 debtor countries, which is more or less constant between 35 to 37 per cent after 2001.


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