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India's debt-GDP ratio dips to 18.7 per cent in March 2024

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India's debt-GDP ratio dips to 18.7 per cent in March 2024

Mumbai, June 25 (IANS) India’s external debt to GDP ratio declined to 18.7 per cent at end-March 2024 from 19.0 per cent at end-March 2023, reflecting a strengthening of the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals.

Although in absolute terms at the end-March 2024, India’s external debt stood at $663.8 billion, an increase of $39.7 billion over its level at end-March 2023 there was also an increase in the country’s GDP due to the high economic growth. This resulted in a decline in the debt to GDP ratio.

The RBI data also shows:

* Valuation effect due to the appreciation of the US dollar vis-a-vis the Indian rupee and other major currencies such as yen, the euro and SDR amounted to $8.7 billion.

Excluding the valuation effect, external debt would have increased by $48.4 billion instead of $39.7 billion at end-March 2024 over end-March 2023.

* At end-March 2024, long-term debt (with original maturity of above one year) was placed at $541.2 billion, recording an increase of $45.6 billion over its level at end-March 2023.

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* The share of short-term debt (with original maturity of up to one year) in total external debt declined to 18.5 per cent at end-March 2024 from 20.6 per cent at end-March 2023.

Similarly, the ratio of short-term debt (original maturity) to foreign exchange reserves declined to 19 per cent at end-March 2024 (22.2 per cent at end-March 2023).

* Short-term debt on residual maturity basis constituted 42.9 per cent of total external debt at end-March 2024 (44.0 per cent at end-March 2023) and stood at 44.1 per cent of foreign exchange reserves (47.4 per cent at end-March 2023).

* US dollar-denominated debt remained the largest component of India’s external debt, with a share of 53.8 per cent at end-March 2024, followed by debt denominated in the Indian rupee (31.5 per cent), yen (5.8 per cent), SDR (5.4 per cent), and euro (2.8 per cent).

* Outstanding debt of both government and non-government sectors increased at end-March 2024 over the level a year ago.

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* The share of outstanding debt of non-financial corporations in total external debt was the highest at 37.4 per cent

* Loans remained the largest component of external debt, with a share of 33.4 per cent, followed by currency and deposits (23.3 per cent), trade credit and advances (17.9 per cent) and debt securities (17.3 per cent).

* Debt service (i.e., principal repayments and interest payments) increased to 6.7 per cent of current receipts at end-March 2024 from 5.3 per cent at end-March 2023, reflecting higher debt service.

–IANS

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Vulcan Green Steel sends executive accused of harassment on administrative leave

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Vulcan Green Steel sends executive accused of harassment on administrative leave

Vulcan Green Steel sends executive accused of harassment on administrative leave

New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) Vulcan Green Steel (VGS) on Saturday said that it has sent Dinesh Kumar Saraogi, accused of harassment by a woman passenger during an international flight, on administrative leave amid the investigation.

VGS, an entity backed by the Jindal Group of Companies, said in a statement that they are deeply concerned about the recent allegations involving a senior executive in their company.

“We recognise the gravity of the situation and are committed to addressing it with utmost seriousness, care, integrity and urgency,” said the company located in Oman.

It further said that in line with its zero tolerance policy and to ensure a fair and independent review, “the executive has been placed on administrative leave”.

“To maintain impartiality, we are appointing an independent credible third party to lead the investigation,” said Vulcan Green Steel.

Jindal Steel had earlier clarified that Saraogi presently serves as the CEO of Vulcan Green Steel in Oman.

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“Saraogi who is alleged of harassing a woman on the Etihad flight has not been a Jindal Steel Executive since last year. He is the CEO of Vulcan Green Steel, Oman and does not have any direct relation with the Listed company Jindal Steel and Power,” the promoter company had said in a statement.

On Friday, industrialist Naveen Jindal said that strictest and necessary action will be taken if the allegation is proven.

The woman had alleged that Saraogi sexually assaulted her on an Etihad flight from Kolkata to Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

She was left frozen in “shock and scare”.

–IANS

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FPIs infuse Rs 44,344 crore in stock markets this month ahead of Union Budget

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FPIs infuse Rs 44,344 crore in stock markets this month ahead of
 Union Budget

FPIs infuse Rs 44,344 crore in stock markets this month ahead of
 Union Budget

Mumbai, July 20 (IANS) Foreign portfolio investors (FPI) continued the investment momentum in the stock markets in India, infusing around Rs 44,344 crore in equity and debt this month (till July 19).

Market analysts said that FPIs were consistent buyers with buying picking up during the week ended July 19.

FPIs have invested worth Rs 30,771 crore in equity and Rs 13,573 crore in debt.

They were buyers in autos, capital goods, healthcare, IT, telecom and oil and gas.

“A notable trend was the lack of buying in financial services, which partly explains the poor performance of financial services in July so far,” said V. K. Vijayakumar, Chief Investment Strategist, Geojit Financial Services.

If the recent trend of weakness in dollar and bond yields persist, FPIs are likely to continue their buying in the market.

According to experts, domestic and foreign investors are keenly watching for possible tweaks in the long-term capital gains tax in the Union Budget 2024-2025, to be presented on July 23.

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There was a total net inflow of Rs 2,82,338 crore for both equity and debt in FY24.

According to market analysts, the FPI community will play a major role in positioning India as the third-largest economy in the world.

The reason for a quick rebound in the capital markets can be attributed to the positive sentiments and a stable government’s assurance of continuity of reforms.

All eyes are now on the budget proposals which will hopefully announce path-breaking reforms, providing India a golden opportunity against the other emerging global markets.

–IANS

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African Union approves AI strategy, digital compact to boost Africa's advancement

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African Union approves AI strategy, digital compact to boost Africa's advancement

African Union approves AI strategy, digital compact to boost Africa's advancement

Accra, July 20 (IANS) The executive council of the African Union (AU) has approved its Continental Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy and African Digital Compact to boost Africa’s digital development, an official said.

AU Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitization Amani Abou-Zeid said this in an interview Friday during the 45th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council, a prelude to its 6th Mid-Year Coordination Meeting, in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, reported Xinhua news agency.

“Our council approved the AU strategy for artificial intelligence and the strategy for using digital technologies, which will set the path for Africa’s use of digital technologies for development,” Abou-Zeid said.

These strategies would provide direction on the use of technology to find solutions to Africa’s challenges, help fast-track many projects and programmes, and guard against the unethical use of technology, she said.

“The technology must help us preserve our identity, preserve our languages and cultures, and be helpful rather than harm us,” the commissioner said.

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The strategies would create an enabling environment for the development and use of digital technology, Abou-Zeid said, adding that the AU policy would guide the governments of various members to develop the necessary policy and regulatory frameworks for the sector.

“The strategies will help us create a single digital market and guide all sovereign countries on how to use digital technology to boost their development processes,” she said.

“There must be rules and regulations to punish the negative use of AI and digital technologies to prevent further abuse,” Abou-Zeid said, adding that seven African countries now have AI policies, but the continental body would like to see all members develop their policies.

–IANS

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Textile centre will be set up in Jabalpur: MP CM

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Textile centre will be set up in Jabalpur: MP CM

Textile centre will be set up in Jabalpur: MP CM

Bhopal, July 20 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav said on Saturday that the modern textile centre would be set up in Jabalpur which will provide jobs for women.

“A mega unit of the modern textile centre will be set up in Jabalpur soon. This development will not only make Jabalpur a new textile hub in the state but would also provide employment to the women,” the Chief Minister said while addressing the inaugural session of the Regional Industrial Conclave in Jabalpur.

Several business houses and industrialists from across the country also participated in the conclave.

The Chief Minister said that many medical and other educational colleges have been constructed in the past few years in Madhya Pradesh.

“We have more than 275 units in the pharma sector and products are being exported in more than 160 countries,” the Chief Minister said.

He added that there are as many as 16 industrial parks and 517 MSME units in Mahakoshal (Jabalpur) which is providing employment to about 20,000 people.

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–IANS

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India's rich history, vibrant culture highlighted at Korea international fair

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India's rich history, vibrant culture highlighted at Korea international fair

India's rich history, vibrant culture highlighted at Korea international fair

Ilsan, July 20 (IANS) India’s rich history and vibrant culture grabbed the spotlight as the ninth Korea International Tourism Fair kicked off at Ilsan in northwest of Seoul.

The Embassy of India in Seoul and the UP government are jointly participating in the fair held at the Korean International Exhibition Centre.

India’s Ambassador to the country, Amit Kumar, joined the opening ceremony alongside Chang-su Jeong (Chairman of the Organisation Committee), Dong Hwan Lee (Mayor of Goyang Special City), Oh Who Seock (Vice Governor of Gyeonggi Province) and Min-hyeon Kyeong (President of Kangwon Domin Ilbo & the Korea Local Newspapers Association).

The UP Tourism booth was jointly inaugurated by all the dignitaries as the Indian Ambassador spoke of India’s rich history and vibrant culture.

In his remarks, he also highlighted India’s natural beauty and wildlife, along with the country’s incredible diversity of languages, cuisines, clothing, architecture and faiths.

“It is often said that whatever a tourist is looking for, can be found in India,” said Kumar.

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The visitors to the fair were also given deep insights into Uttar Pradesh by the state tourism body.

“The state represents the microcosm of the rich heritage that India has to offer. There are 42 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, including six in Uttar Pradesh. The state also has a rich heritage of Buddhism, comprising six cities where Lord Buddha once lived and preached,” said Ambassador Kumar.

Korea International Tourism Fair is a tourism exhibition aimed at fostering the growth of the tourism industry by expanding the market through collaboration between domestic and international tourism. It also seeks to boost local tourism by promoting the internationalisation of domestic cities.

Several countries from around the world participated in the event.

–IANS

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