Mumbai: The global financial crisis has clearly hurt overseas debts of Indian companies as corporates raised $1.12 billion (Rs5,577 crore) in October—less than half the amount mopped up in the previous month—despite easing of norms.

Wasted effort: A file photo of the RBI building in Mumbai. Despite RBI’s relaxing ECB norms, firms could only borrow $1.1 billion. Sajjad Hussain / AFP

Indian firms had raised $2.8 billion in September through the external commercial borrowing (ECB) route.

Of the total money raised through ECBs in October, Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) borrowed the highest— $400 million, data released by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed.

RIL borrowed $100 million through the automatic route for import of capital goods, while $300 million was mobilized for project after approval from the government.

Jaiprakash Associates Ltd raised $60 million through ECB to import capital goods, while Essar Shipping Ports and Logistics Ltd borrowed $148 million from overseas market for leasing and hire purchase during the month, RBI said.

A total of 44 Indian companies raised funds through ECB route during the month for overseas takeovers, import of capital goods, modernization and rupee expenditure.

Jagran Prakashan raised $12 million in October for modernization. Great Offshore Ltd and BP Energy India Pvt Ltd borrowed a $136 million through the approval route.

To give companies more flexibility in raising money, with sources of funds drying up as a fallout from global financial meltdown, the central bank had relaxed ECB norms in October.