New Delhi: India's public debt declined marginally to Rs 60.66 lakh crore at the end of March 2017, showing a quarter-on-quarter reduction of 1.9 per cent. The debt (excluding liabilities under the Public Account) of the government was Rs 61.84 lakh crore at the end of December 2016.
Internal debt constituted 92.6 per cent of public debt, as compared to 92.7 per cent in the previous quarter, a quarterly report on debt management released by the finance ministry said today.
Global rating agencies have often cited high public debt as one of the reasons for not upgrading India's credit rating. With regard to domestic borrowing, it said gross and net market borrowing requirements of the government for 2016-17 were revised lower to Rs 5.82 lakh crore and Rs 4.06 lakh crore, respectively. This was lower than Rs 5.85 lakh crore and Rs 4.40 lakh crore in the previous fiscal.
"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 borrowings from the market were also reduced by Rs 18,000 crore during the quarter," it said.
With regard to government securities, the report said that during the quarter the yields were at elevated levels from mid-February onwards.
"G-sec yields were low across the curve at start of the quarter, post the government's decision on November 8, 2016 to demonetise high denomination value notes which led to surge in bank deposits and the bullish market sentiment, particularly for short-end bonds," it said.
It further said marketable securities (consisting of rupee denominated dated securities and treasury bills) accounted for 83.2 per cent of total public debt at the end of March.
The outstanding internal debt of the government at Rs 56.15 lakh crore constituted 37.3 per cent of GDP at end-March 2017 as compared to 38.9 per cent of GDP at end-December 2016, it said....