Understanding Government Bonds in India: A Comprehensive Guide

Government Bonds in India
Written by Bilal Munsif

If you’re an investor in India, you’ve surely heard the term “government bonds.” And if you haven’t already invested in them, it’s time to jump on board! Investing in government bonds is a great way to grow your money and support your country’s economy at the same time. But what exactly are they? How do they work? And how can they benefit you? We’ll answer all these questions and more as we take a deep dive into understanding government bonds in India – so grab a cup of chai and let’s get started!

What are government bonds?

Government bonds are debt securities issued by the government in order to finance their operations. The Indian government issues two types of bonds, namely, treasury bills and dated securities. Government bonds are considered to be one of the safest investments as they are backed by the government.

Government bonds are typically issued with a maturity of 5, 10, or 20 years. Interest on government bonds is paid semi-annually. The interest rate on government bonds is fixed for the life of the bond. Government bonds can be bought and sold in the secondary market before they mature.

Investors who are looking for a safe and secure investment option can consider investing in government bonds.

Advantages of Investing in Government Bonds

Government bonds offer a number of advantages to investors. For one, they are backed by the full faith and credit of the issuing government, which means they are virtually risk-free. Additionally, government bonds offer relatively high returns compared to other fixed-income investments, such as CDs and corporate bonds. Finally, government bonds can be an excellent way to diversify your investment portfolio and protect against inflation.

Types of Government Bonds Issued by the Indian Government

Government bonds are primarily of two types in India- Central Government Securities (CGS) and State Development Loans (SDLs). CGS is issued by the Reserve Bank of India on behalf of the central government while SDLs are issued by the state governments. Here is a detailed guide on the various types of government bonds issued in India:

Central Government Securities (CGs):

CGs include treasury bills, dated securities, and nil coupon bonds. Treasury bills are short-term debt instruments with maturities ranging from 91 days to 364 days. Dated securities have maturities above one year. There are three types of dated securities- normal bonds, cash management bills, and long term repos. Nil coupon bonds are bonds which do not make periodic interest payments and are sold at a discount to their face value. The face value is repaid at maturity.

State Development Loans (SDLs):

SDLs are medium to long term debt instruments with maturities ranging from 5 years to 40 years. They are issued by state governments for developmental purposes such as infrastructure development, social sector expenditure, etc.

How to Purchase a Government Bond in India

When it comes to purchasing a government bond in India, there are a few different options available to investors. The most common method is to purchase bonds through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which offers both primary and secondary market options.

The RBI offers two types of government bonds in India:

  • Bonds that are auctioned off periodically (primary market)
  • Outstanding bonds that are traded in the secondary market

To purchase a government bond through the RBI’s primary market, investors must first submit a bid. The minimum bid amount is Rs 1 lakh (1,00,000). Successful bids will be allotted bonds at the weighted average price of all successful bids.

To purchase government bonds through the RBI’s secondary market, investors can approach any scheduled commercial bank or primary dealer that is authorized to deal in government securities. The prices of these bonds are determined by supply and demand in the secondary market.

Interest Rates and Tax on Indian Government Bonds

Government bonds in India are subject to both interest rates and taxes. The interest rate on a government bond is the coupon rate, which is the rate at which the bond pays interest. The tax on a government bond is the capital gains tax, which is a tax on the profit made when selling the bond.

The interest rate on government bonds in India is determined by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The RBI sets the repo rate, which is the interest rate at which banks borrow money from the RBI. The repo rate affects the interest rates on government bonds, as well as other types of debt.

The capital gains tax on government bonds in India is 20%. This means that if you sell a government bond for more than you paid for it, you will owe 20% of the profit in taxes.


Government bonds in India are an option for investors looking to diversify their portfolios and capitalize on the low-risk returns they provide. As with all investments, it’s important to understand the products you’re dealing with and take a calculated approach so that you make informed choices. This guide has given readers a comprehensive overview of what government bonds are, how they work and how to invest in them correctly. We hope this information helps readers better assess whether government bonds really fit their financial goals or not.

About the author

Bilal Munsif

Hi, I'm Bilal, a technology expert with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. I am passionate about exploring the latest trends and advancements in the tech industry and have dedicated my career to staying up to date with the latest developments.

I have extensive experience in the field, having worked on numerous projects ranging from developing software applications to managing large-scale IT infrastructure. This has given me a unique perspective on the challenges faced by individuals and organizations in today's ever-evolving technological landscape.

I have a particular interest in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things. I enjoy breaking down complex concepts into easy-to-understand ideas, making technology accessible to everyone. As an author for this technology website, I am committed to providing our readers with the latest news, insights, and opinions on all things tech.

My dedication to staying up to date with the latest tech advancements ensures that our readers are always informed and engaged. I believe that technology has the power to transform our lives, and I'm excited to be a part of the conversation that helps us understand and harness that power.

When I'm not working in the tech industry, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, exploring new places, and staying active. I'm an avid reader and always interested in the latest tech trends and advancements, which I believe can help shape our future.