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Net borrowings exceed target; external debt worsens marginally

The government overstepped its net borrowing target for fiscal 2001-02 in the first nine months itself by touching Rs 790.02 billion despite a marginal hike in external debt to $100.38 billion till Septmeber last.

The net borrowings rose by 2.1 per cent over the targeted amount of Rs 773.77 billion, according to the Economic Survey for 2001-02 presented by Finance Minsiter Yashwant Sinha in the Parliament on Tuesday.

India's external debt stood at $99.61 billion at the end of last fiscal. However, despite marginal increase in external debt stock, the country's indebtedness improved marginally in recent years.

Thus, the debt-GDP ratio declined from 22.3 per cent in March 2001 to 21 per cent in September. Similarly, the debt-service ratio declined from the peak level of 35.3 per cent of current receipts to 16.3 per cent over the last decade.

On the gross borrowings front, however, the government just about managed to confine itself to the budgetary target with Rs 1160.02 billion borrowed against the Rs 1188.52 billion target till December 28, 2001.

While 85 per cent of this amount was borrowed via dated securities, 364-day Treasury Bills accounted for the remaining 15 per cent of gross borrowings.

Also, more than one-third of the total borrowings through dated securities in the first half of the fiscal were completed in April itself.

PTI

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