New Delhi: The country paid over seven per cent higher amount in repaying its external debt at USD7.67 billion during the first six months of this fiscal over the year-ago period, despite a soft interest rate regime globally.
The country paid USD 7.17 billion during April-September 2008 for repayment of debt that includes overseas borrowings of companies and NRI deposits.
This is despite the fact that the country enjoyed less interest outgo on its debt to the outside world. It paid USD 2.52 billion as interest during the first half of this fiscal, down 20.7 per cent over USD 3.18 billion in a year ago period.
However, its outgo on the principal amount rose by around 29 per cent to USD 5.15 billion against USD 3.99 billion in the year-ago period.
Even as the country debt repayments went up, its current receipts (income from exports of goods, services and some other investment income) has gone down to around USD 156 billion against USD 196 billion over the period. This means that there was less sum available to service debts.
As such, the debt service ratio, which is the ratio of total debt service payments to current receipts, rose to 4.9 per cent in the first half of this fiscal against 3.7 per cent a year ago.
The external debt rose USD 18.2 billion to USD 242.8 billion as on September 30, 2009 from USD 224.6 billion at the end March 2009.