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Every Indian owes $194 to the world

business Updated: Dec 25, 2008 20:19 IST
Gaurav Choudhury
Gaurav Choudhury
Hindustan Times
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Every Indian owes about $194 to the world. The amount is higher if internal debt is added up.

Per capita external debt, which gives the notional amount of money every Indian would have to pay if the country were to repay the entire national debt in one go, has nearly doubled from $104.2 in the last five years.

“The Central government’s public debt has been increasing in absolute terms on account of persistent fiscal deficit, which in turn in financed by both internal and external borrowings of the government,” said a government official, who did not wish to be identified.

However, officials say India’s debt is “manageable” as a result of cautious policies.

At the end of last June, external debt totalled $ 221.3 billion (Rs. 10,65,600 crore). External debt expanded by $12 billion every quarter in the past six quarters. Increased inflows from foreign institutions swelled up the liquidity but has reduced after the global financial meltdown this year.

The debt liabilities of each individual goes up by Rs 24,467 if internal liabilities of the government are added up.

Outstanding internal debt stood at Rs 29,39,237 crore as on June 30, up from Rs 16,90,554 crore in 2003-04.

The increase in internal liabilities is due to issue of dated securities under the market stabilisation scheme (MSS) since 2004-05, the official said. Under MSS the government issues treasury bills and or dated securities in addition to its normal borrowing requirements, to absorbing excess liquidity from the system.