India's external debt was at $ 400.3 billion - including government debt of $ 77.3 billion - at the end of September. "Government (Sovereign) external debt stood at $ 77.3 billion, (19.3 per cent of total external debt) at end September 2013 vis-a-vis $ 81.7 billion (20.4 per cent) at end-March 2013," the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.
The total debt of $ 400.3 billion showed a decline of $ 9 million over the March-end level. The ministry further said that the long-term debt was $ 305.5 billion at the end of September, showing an increase of 0.6 per cent over March 31 level, while short-term debt declined by 2 per cent to $ 94.8 billion.
"The share of US dollar denominated debt continued to be the highest in external debt stock at 60.7 per cent at end-September 2013, followed by the Indian rupee (20.9 per cent), SDR (7.6 per cent), Japanese yen (5.7 per cent), and euro (3.2 per cent)," it added. India's foreign exchange reserves provided 69.3 per cent cover to the total external debt as of September end, as against 73 per cent on March 31.
The ministry said the debt has remained within manageable limits as indicated by the external debt to GDP ratio of 21.7 per cent and debt service ratio of 5.9 per cent in 2012-13.
"The prudent external debt management policy of the Government of India has helped in containing rise in external debt and maintaining a comfortable external debt position," the Finance Ministry said.
It added that the policy continues to focus on monitoring long and short-term debt, raising sovereign loans on concessional terms with longer maturities, regulating external commercial borrowings through end-use, all-in-cost and maturity restrictions and rationalising interest rates on Non-Resident Indian deposits.