Treasury bills, otherwise known as T-bills, are financial documents that serve as a money-making instrument for the government. Indian residents can invest in t-bills at a discounted price. The treasury bills and bonds are among the safest investment options you can choose for yourself. The profit behind it is minimal, but since T-bills are Government securities, it has minimal risk involved.
Let’s dive in to know more about t-bills and their role in the Indian economy.
The government of India issues treasury bills to meet short-term financial requirements whenever there’s a fiscal deficit. T-bills act as a promissory note by the Government with guaranteed repayment to the investors at a later specified date. This money market instrument is issued to investors at a nominal or discounted price. Point to note: there is a maturity period for each treasury bill, which is 364 days.
After the maturity period is over, the government rolls out the bills by giving investors the face value of the bill. For example, suppose a treasury bill has a face value of Rs. 120. It will be available for purchase at a discounted price of 118.40. After the maturity period is over, the government will purchase the t-bill at Rs. 120, making you a profit of Rs. 1.60. Note that the bills are available at discounted price without coupons (zero interest rate).
Whenever there is a short-term cash deficiency or there’s a fiscal deficit,the Government could issue treasury bills to reduce the overall fiscal deficit. It is cheaper than borrowing from any other financial body, as the government does not have to pay interest and the amount it returns is also lower than the interest they otherwise would have had to pay.
The Reserve Bank of India also issues treasury bills under open market operations (OMO) strategy for everyone to purchase. RBI does it to control inflation and regulate borrowing/spending habits of consumers. Whenever there’s high inflation rates in the country due to economic boom, the government issues high-value treasury bills to curb excessive money supply.
Similarly, during the times of recession, the Government rolls out T-bills at a reduced circulation rate and at discounted rates to divert investors’ resources to this sector, thereby boosting cash flows to the stock market.
Treasury bills are determined by their maturity period. The maximum tenure of the treasury bills is below one year. Depending upon the maturity period, there are mainly three types of treasury bills as listed below:
14 days Treasury Bills
The tenure does not change for the Treasury Bills. The discounts and the Treasury Bills rates are subject to change over the years.
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The Treasury Bills have multiple features attached to them; you can avail all those who purchase the Treasury Bills. Some of the features are listed as follows:
Although The government issues the Treasury Bills at the nominal rate, there is still a requirement of the minimum investment you need to make if you are planning to invest in the Treasury Bills. RBI instructs all investors to invest a minimum of Rs. 25,000. If you wish to invest more than a minimal amount, you can invest in multiples of Rs. 25,000 only.
Investors earn capital gains from their investment in the government Treasury Bills. This is because after selling the bill, total face value is paid to the investor rather than the discounted price at which it was sold. As a result, investors stand to gain cumulative profit over their investment.
The RBI issues Treasury Bills and Bonds every Wednesday in the market. Investors can purchase directly from the government or authorized primary dealers. Depending upon the bids, you can also trade securities with Treasury Bills. After the redemption of the t-bill, the settlement procedure needs to be followed by T+1.
The benefits of the treasury bills are given below:
RBI issues T-bills on behalf of the government. Therefore, your total investment has a complete guarantee from the government. After the maturity period is over, you get returns as per stated on your Treasury Bills at the time of the purchase.
The government Treasury Bills have a maximum maturity period of 364 days. However, you can invest in bills as low as 14 days. The short term goals can easily be achieved through treasury bills. If you have purchased bills with a longer tenure, you can sell those G-sec in the secondary market in case of emergency and get profitable returns.
The government of India and RBI determines the Treasury Bills rate. Even before the market opens, the rate is set and doesn’t change. The sales of the Treasury Bills also do not impact the price of the treasury bills. If you are an amateur investor, Treasury Bills are among the finest and safest money-making instruments you can choose.
The Government Treasury Bills, although safest, do not generate significant returns on the investment when you compare them with the other securities in the market. The returns that are generated over the Treasury Bills are also predetermined, so you do not get more returns if the market performs well. Irrespective of all the things, you get your returns.
The Treasury Bills are also subject to taxation. They are considered the investors’ income and are taxed per the investors’ tax slab. The tax is not deducted at the source (TDS). Therefore, you pay taxes only if your annual income falls into the tax bracket.
The distinction between Treasury bills and bonds is given below in the tabular format:
|Treasury Bill||Treasury Bonds|
|These are short-term money-making instruments||These are long-term money-making capital instruments|
|You purchase bills at a discounted price and get the face value upon maturity||The bonds are sold at the face value. You earn the interest on the amount invested|
|The price of the t-bills does not change very often||The price of the t-bonds changes depending upon the maturity period|
|The maximum maturity tenure is up to 1 year||The maximum maturity tenure is up to 10 years|
|The types are determined by the maturity period||The types are determined by the nature of the bond|
The Treasury Bills are perfect for the following individuals:
Treasury bills are government-issued security. These securities come with zero interest. The profit you earn is based on the difference between the face value of the security and the discounted price of the security. T-bills have a lower maturity period than other investment options.
Ans: No, after the maturity period, you must give it back to the government to get the investment returns. Owning it for a longer period or more than the maturity period will not change its return value.
Ans: Only the central government has the power to issue the treasury bills. State governments do not control or regulate treasury bills. The Reserve Bank of India brings the Treasury Bills to the market on behalf of the central government.
Ans: After you purchase treasury bills, you get the treasury bill certificate from the issuing authority. On this certificate, all the things will be mentioned, like your name, the amount invested, the date of maturity, and the amount you will get after the maturity period.
Ans: The face value could change during the tenure of the Treasury Bills. However, this change in no way will impact your returns. The amount you have invested and will get as a return is clearly mentioned on your bill; you will get returns accordingly. So, the face value may change for later investors, but it will remain constant for you after the purchase.
Ans: After the bill is matured, you can get it redeemed. Usually, the return amount is paid in cash to the investors. However, you can also get it redeemed by other means.
Disclaimer: Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme-related documents carefully. This article has been prepared on the basis of internal data, publicly available information and other sources believed to be reliable. The information contained in this article is for general purposes only and not a complete disclosure of every material fact. It should not be construed as investment advice to any party. The article does not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the information, and disclaims all liabilities, losses and damages arising out of the use of this information. Readers shall be fully liable/responsible for any decision taken on the basis of this article.
Before you go…
Disclaimer: Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks, read all scheme-related documents carefully.
This article has been prepared on the basis of internal data, publicly available information and other sources believed to be reliable. The information contained in this article is for general purposes only and not a complete disclosure of every material fact. It should not be construed as investment advice to any party. The article does not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the information, and disclaims all liabilities, losses and damages arising out of the use of this information. Readers shall be fully liable/responsible for any decision taken on the basis of this article.
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