India's external debt rose by 2.4 per cent at $ 230 billion during 2008-09 due to an increase in commercial borrowings and short-term debts.
With a rise of $ 5.3 billion over the previous fiscal, the external debt rose to 22 per cent of the GDP from 19 per cent in the previous year, RBI said in a release on India's external debt position.
On the positive side, India's debt service ratio was the third lowest, above China and Malaysia.
Of the total external debt, the share of commercial borrowings was the highest at 27.3 per cent followed by the short-term debt at 21.5 per cent.
At the same time, Non-Resident Indian deposits accounted for 18.1 per cent, while multilateral debt was 17.2 per cent of the total debt.
The debt service ratio declined to 4.6 per cent at the end of March 2009.
In terms of international comparison, it added, India was the fifth most indebted country after China, Russia, Turkey and Brazil.
The release further said but for the valuation effect due to appreciation of the US dollar against the Indian Rupee, the stock of external debt would have increased by $ 18.7 billion compared with the stock at the end of March 2009.