Our Bureau

Mumbai, Sept 30

THE country's external debt declined by $1.3 billion during the three-month period between March 31 and June 30.

The total external debt stood at $122.1 billion at the end of June against $123.4 billion at the end of March, according to a release from the Reserve Bank of India.

The decline in the debt position primarily reflected the valuation effects of the appreciation of the US dollar vis-à-vis other major international currencies, the release said. Among the various components of debt, multilateral and bilateral debt, rupee debt and short-term debt declined, while trade credit, external commercial borrowings (ECBs) and NRI deposits increased during the period.

ECBs were mainly in the form of syndicated loans and issues of bonds, including foreign currency convertible bonds (FCCBs).

Trade credit went up from $4.96 billion to $5.216 billion, ECBs from $26.942 billion to $27.158 billion and long-term NRI deposits from $32.743 billion to $32.801 billion. Overall, the long-term debt declined from $115.93 billion to 114.87 billion. The short-term debt also came down from $7.524 billion to $7.275 billion.

During the quarter, the country's foreign exchange reserves exceeded the external debt by $16.2 billion, the release said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 1, 2005)
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