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Date : Jun 30, 2021
India’s External Debt as at the end of March 2021

The stock of external debt at end-March 2021 as well as revised data for earlier quarters are set out in Statements I (old format) and II (IMF format)1. The major developments relating to India’s external debt as at end-March 2021 are presented below.

Highlights

  • At end-March 2021, India’s external debt was placed at US$ 570.0 billion, recording an increase of US$ 11.5 billion over its level at end-March 2020 (Table 1).
  • The external debt to GDP ratio increased to 21.1 per cent at end-March 2021 from 20.6 per cent at end-March 2020.
  • Valuation loss due to the depreciation of the US dollar vis-à-vis Indian rupee and major currencies such as euro, SDR2 and pound sterling was placed at US$ 6.8 billion. Excluding the valuation effect, the increase in external debt would have been US$ 4.7 billion instead of US$ 11.5 billion at end-March 2021 over end-March 2020.
  • Commercial borrowings remained the largest component of external debt, with a share of 37.4 per cent, followed by non-resident deposits (24.9 per cent) and short-term trade credit (17.1 per cent).
  • At end-March 2021, long-term debt (with original maturity of above one year) was placed at US$ 468.9 billion, recording an increase of US$ 17.3 billion over its level at end-March 2020.
  • The share of short-term debt (with original maturity of up to one year) in total external debt declined to 17.7 per cent at end-March 2021 from 19.1 per cent at end-March 2020; the ratio of short-term debt (original maturity) to foreign exchange reserves declined to 17.5 per cent at end-March 2021 (22.4 per cent at end-March 2020).
  • Short-term debt on residual maturity basis (i.e., debt obligations that include long-term debt by original maturity falling due over the next twelve months and short-term debt by original maturity) constituted 44.6 per cent of total external debt at end-March 2021 (42.4 per cent at end-March 2020) and stood at 44.1 per cent of foreign exchange reserves (49.6 per cent at end-March 2020) (Table 2).

  • US dollar denominated debt remained the largest component of India’s external debt, with a share of 52.1 per cent at end-March 2021, followed by the Indian rupee (33.3 per cent), yen (5.8 per cent), SDR (4.4 per cent) and the euro (3.5 per cent).

  • The borrower-wise classification shows that the outstanding debt of both government and non-government sectors increased at end-March 2021 (Table 3).
  • The share of outstanding debt of non-financial corporations in total external debt was the highest at 40.4 per cent, followed by deposit-taking corporations (except the central bank) (28.2 per cent), general government (18.8 per cent) and other financial corporations (8.1 per cent).
  • The instrument-wise classification shows that the loans were the largest component of external debt, with a share of 34.8 per cent, followed by currency and deposits (25.2 per cent), trade credit and advances (17.6 per cent) and debt securities (17.0 per cent) (Table 4).
  • Debt service (principal repayments plus interest payments) increased to 8.2 per cent of current receipts at end-March 2021 as compared with 6.5 per cent at end-March 2020, reflecting higher repayments and lower current receipts (Table 5).

(Yogesh Dayal)     
Chief General Manager

Press Release: 2021-2022/455


Table 1: External Debt - Outstanding and Variation
(US$ billion)
Component Outstanding as at end-March Absolute variation Percentage variation
2019 R 2020 PR 2021 P Mar-20 over Mar-19 Mar-21 over Mar-20 Mar-20 over Mar-19 Mar-21 over Mar-20
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1. Multilateral 57.4 59.9 69.7 2.5 9.7 4.4 16.3
2. Bilateral 26.6 28.1 31.0 1.4 2.9 5.4 10.4
3. IMF 5.5 5.4 5.6 -0.1 0.2 -1.7 3.8
4. Trade Credit 7.7 7.0 6.5 -0.8 -0.5 -9.7 -6.8
5. Commercial Borrowings 205.8 219.5 213.2 13.7 -6.3 6.7 -2.9
6. Non-resident Deposits 130.4 130.6 141.9 0.2 11.3 0.1 8.7
7. Rupee Debt 1.2 1.0 1.0 -0.1 0.0 -11.7 -4.6
8. Short-term Debt 108.4 106.9 101.1 -1.5 -5.8 -1.4 -5.4
   Of which:              
   Short-term Trade Credit 102.4 101.4 97.3 -1.0 -4.1 -1.0 -4.1
Total Debt 543.1 558.4 570.0 15.3 11.5 2.8 2.1
Memo Items:              
A. Long-term Debt (original maturity)@ 434.7 451.6 468.9 16.8 17.3 3.9 3.8
B. Short-term Debt (original maturity)# 108.4 106.9 101.1 -1.5 -5.8 -1.4 -5.4
R: Revised. PR: Partially Revised. P: Provisional.
@: Debt with original maturity of above one year.
#: Debt with original maturity of up to one year.

Table 2: Residual Maturity of Outstanding External Debt as at end-March 2021
(US$ billion)
Sector Short-term up to one year 1 to 2 years 2 to 3 years More than 3 years Total (2 to 5)
1 2 3 4 5 6
I. General Government 6.3 7.8 8.3 84.9 107.2
    I.A. Short-term Debt 0.3       0.3
    I.B. Long-term Debt 6.0 7.8 8.3 84.9 107.0
II. Central Bank 0.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2
    II.A. Short-term Debt 0.2       0.2
    II.B. Long-term Debt 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
III. Deposit-taking Corporations, except the Central Bank 108.2 19.9 9.8 22.9 160.7
    III.A. Short-term Debt 1.7       1.7
    III.B. Long-term Debt 106.5 19.9 9.8 22.9 159.1
IV. Other Sectors 134.0 27.1 30.9 84.6 276.6
    IV.A. Short-term Debt 99.0       99.0
    IV.B. Long-term Debt 35.0 27.1 30.9 84.6 177.6
     IV.1. Other financial corporations 6.0 9.4 10.8 20.2 46.4
      IV.1.A. Short-term Debt 1.7       1.7
      IV.1.B. Long-term Debt 4.3 9.4 10.8 20.2 44.7
     IV.2. Non-financial corporations 127.9 17.6 20.1 64.4 230.1
      IV.2.A. Short-term Debt 97.3       97.3
      IV.2.B. Long-term Debt 30.7 17.6 20.1 64.4 132.9
     IV.3. Households and nonprofit institutions serving households (NPISHs) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
      IV.3.A. Short-term Debt 0.0       0.0
      IV.3.B. Long-term Debt 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
V. Direct Investment: Intercompany Lending 5.6 2.8 3.2 13.5 25.3
A. Total Short-term Debt 101.1       101.1
B. Total Long-term Debt 153.2 57.6 52.2 205.9 468.9
C. Total Debt (A+B) 254.3 57.6 52.2 205.9 570.0
Memo Items:          
Short-term Debt (residual maturity) as per cent of Total External Debt         44.6
Short-term Debt (residual maturity) as per cent of Foreign Exchange Reserves         44.1

Table 3: Government and Non-government External Debt
(US$ billion)
Component End-March
2018 2019 R 2020 PR 2021 P
1 2 3 4 5
A. Government Debt (I+II) 111.9 103.8 100.9 107.2
   (As percentage of GDP) (4.3) (3.8) (3.7) (4.0)
   I. External Debt on Government Account under External Assistance 68.6 68.8 72.7 84.5
   II. Other Government External Debt @ 43.4 35.0 28.1 22.7
B. Non-government Debt 417.3 439.3 457.6 462.8
   (As percentage of GDP) (15.9) (16.1) (16.9) (17.1)
   B.1. Central Bank 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.2
   B.2. Deposit-taking Corporations, except the Central Bank 154.6 164.3 158.2 160.7
   B.3. Other Financial Corporations 26.4 31.2 40.9 46.4
   B.4. Non-financial Corporations 220.4 226.4 235.4 230.1
   B.5. Households and nonprofit institutions serving households (NPISHs) 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
   B.6. Direct Investment: Intercompany Lending 15.7 17.1 22.8 25.3
C. Total Debt (A+B) 529.3 543.1 558.4 570.0
   (As percentage of GDP) (20.1) (19.9) (20.6) (21.1)
R: Revised. PR: Partially Revised. P: Provisional.
@: Other government external debt includes defence debt, investment in Treasury Bills/government securities by FPIs, foreign central banks and international institutions and IMF.

Table 4: Outstanding External Debt by Instruments
(US$ billion)
Instrument End-March
2018 2019 R 2020 PR 2021 P
1 2 3 4 5
1. Special Drawing Rights (allocations) 5.8 5.5 5.4 5.6
2. Currency and Deposits 127.6 134.4 134.1 143.8
3. Debt Securities 98.3 91.9 97.5 96.7
4. Loans 178.7 189.0 194.3 198.3
5. Trade Credit and Advances 103.2 105.2 104.3 100.3
6. Other Debt Liabilities 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
7. Direct Investment: Intercompany Lending 15.7 17.1 22.8 25.3
Total Debt 529.3 543.1 558.4 570.0
R: Revised. PR: Partially Revised. P: Provisional.

Table 5: India’s Key External Debt Indicators
(Per cent, unless indicated otherwise)
End-March External Debt
(US$ billion)
Ratio of External Debt to GDP Debt Service Ratio Ratio of Foreign Exchange Reserves to Total Debt Ratio of Concessional Debt to Total Debt Ratio of Short-term Debt (original maturity) to Foreign Exchange Reserves Ratio of Short-term Debt (original maturity) to Total Debt
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1991 83.8 28.3 35.3 7.0 45.9 146.5 10.2
1996 93.7 26.6 26.2 23.1 44.7 23.2 5.4
2001 101.3 22.1 16.6 41.7 35.4 8.6 3.6
2006 139.1 17.1 10.1# 109.0 28.4 12.9 14.0
2007 172.4 17.7 4.7 115.6 23.0 14.1 16.3
2008 224.4 18.3 4.8 138.0 19.7 14.8 20.4
2009 224.5 20.7 4.4 112.2 18.7 17.2 19.3
2010 260.9 18.5 5.8 106.9 16.8 18.8 20.1
2011 317.9 18.6 4.4 95.9 14.9 21.3 20.4
2012 360.8 21.1 6.0 81.6 13.3 26.6 21.7
2013 409.4 22.4 5.9 71.3 11.1 33.1 23.6
2014 446.2 23.9 5.9 68.2 10.4 30.1 20.5
2015 474.7 23.8 7.6 72.0 8.8 25.0 18.0
2016 484.8 23.4 8.8 74.3 9.0 23.2 17.2
2017 471.0 19.8 8.3 78.5 9.4 23.8 18.7
2018 529.3 20.1 7.5 80.2 9.1 24.1 19.3
2019 R 543.1 19.9 6.4 76.0 8.7 26.3 20.0
2020 PR 558.4 20.6 6.5 85.6 8.8 22.4 19.1
2021 P 570.0 21.1 8.2 101.2 9.1 17.5 17.7
R: Revised. PR: Partially Revised. P: Provisional.
# works out to 6.3 per cent with the exclusion of India Millennium Deposits (IMDs) repayments of US$ 7.1 billion and pre-payment of external debt of US$ 23.5 million.

1 The concepts set out in the IMF’s 2013 External Debt Statistics (EDS) Guide are harmonized with those of the System of National Accounts (SNA) 2008 and the sixth edition of the IMF’s Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6) published in 2009.

2 SDR: Special Drawing Rights.


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