GK Chronicle GK Chronicle

Indian Economy / External Sector

Balance of Payments Position in India


    Balance of Payments is an evaluation between receipts and payments of a country in its transaction with rest of the world. It includes both Current Account as well as Capital Account.

    Current Account and Capital Account

    • Current Account has two components, namely Balance of Trade (net balance of trade from tangible goods) and Invisibles.

    • Invisibles are inward remittances by migrant workers, export of software services, revenue from tourism, dividend and royalty received on foreign loans, services like insurance, banking and shipping, etc.

    • For India, there remains Current Account Deficit (CAD) from 2004-05 onwards. Current Account Deficit (or Current Account Surplus) is the Sum of Invisibles and Balance of Trade.

    • Capital Account covers external commercial borrowings (ECB), external assistance, foreign investment, capital flow from the country to foreign countries, etc.

    • Since launching of economic reforms in India, there is a significant increase in Balance of Payments situation. Invisibles are showing impressive performance though the Balance of Trade continues to be in adverse condition.

    Foreign Exchange Reserves

    • Foreign Exchange Reserves or Forex Reserves are the currency reserves which can be liquidated at the international market.

    • Forex reserves are made up of foreign currency assets and Gold that are held by RBI and SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) that are held by the Government.

    • SDR is not a coin or a currency note but it is based on the basket of 4 currencies namely, Dollar, Euro, Pound and Yen.

    • SDRs are being maintained in the accounts of IMF (International Monetary Fund) to meet the international obligations.

    • India has Forex reserves of $424.55 billion as on March 2018 and ranks 8th in the world in terms of Foreign Exchange Reserves.