India’s public debt declined to Rs 60.66 lakh crore at the end of the 2016-17 Fiscal in March, registering a fall over the previous quarter of 1.9%, an official statement said on Monday.

Government debt (excluding liabilities under the Public Account) was at Rs 61.84 lakh crore at the end of December 2016, said the quarterly report on debt management released by the Finance Ministry.

The government’s domestic borrowing for 2016-17 has been revised downwards, it said.

“Government issued dated securities worth Rs 80,000 crore to complete its gross borrowings of Rs 5,82,000 crore for FY 16,” It said

“Gross and net market borrowing requirements of the government for FY16 were revised lower to Rs 5,82,000 crore and Rs 4,06,708 crore, which were lower by 0.52% and 8.34%, respectively, than Rs 5,85,000 crore and Rs 4,40,625 crore in FY16.”

“In view of comfortable cash position of the government, Rs 30,982.787 crore was utilised to buy-back the securities from the market and borrowing from the market were also reduced by Rs 18,000 crore during the quarter,” it added.

The outstanding internal debt of the government at Rs 5,615,939 crore constituted 37.3% of the GDP at end-March 2017, as compared to 38.9% of the GDP at end-December 2016.

Owing to the November 8 demonetisation, liquidity in the economy was in surplus during the quarter in consideration.

“The cash position of the government during Q4 of FY17 was comfortable and remained in surplus mode,” the Finance Ministry said.

The central government dated securities continued to account for a dominant portion of total trading volumes in the fourth quarter of 2016-17, the report said.

“However, their share fell during the quarter, to 84.85% of total outright volumes as compared to 91.93% in Q3 of FY16-17,” it added.

The government said turbulence in global financial markets set off a bout of global risk aversion and flight to safe haven that caused net outflows of funds from foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) during November 2016 to January 2017.

“The tide reversed with the pricing in of the (US) Fed’s normalisation path and improvement in global growth prospects. FPI flows turned positive from February 2017 onwards,” it said.

India’s foreign exchange reserves as on March 31, 2017, were at $369.9 billion, which was an accretion of $9.77 billion over the level at the end of March 2016.

First Published | 22 May 2017 8:52 PM
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