New Delhi, Apr 1: India's external debt outstanding at the end of December 2007 was 201.4 billion dollars, reflecting a rise of 10.3 billion dollars over the quarter. As compared to the level of 169.7 billion dollar at end-March 2007, India"s external debt at end-December 2007 increased by 31.8 billion dollars, said a Finance Ministry statement.
According to the statement, the rupee appreciation has led to rise in external debt by six billion dollars during April-December 2007. The long term debt rose by 6.3 billion dollars to 166.2 billion dollars, while short-term debt increased by four billion dollars to 35.2 billion dollars over the third quarter. The share of government debt in total external debt stood at 26.3 per cent or 53 billion dollars, while private debt was 73.7 per cent or 148.5 billion dollars.
The share of US dollar in India"s external debt portfolio has showed an increasing trend over the last few years. It further increased to 54.5 per cent at end-December 2007 from 52 per cent at end-March 2007.
At end-December 2007, India"s foreign exchange reserves which include foreign currency assets of the Reserve Bank of India, gold, SDRs and Reserve Tranche Position in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stood at 275.3 billion dollars, providing a cover of 137 per cent to total external debt, while the foreign currency assets of the RBI at 266.6 billion dollars provided a cover of 132 per cent.