India not planning tax changes to aid bond inclusion on global indexes: govt source

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India is not planning any changes to its tax regime to help Indian government bonds be included on other global indices, a government source said on Wednesday.

JPMorgan’s decision last week to include India in its emerging market bond index from June 2024 is likely to bring in around $25 billion, as per analysts’ estimates. Fellow index provider FTSE Russell, which has India on the watchlist for inclusion, has a review scheduled later this week. The Bloomberg indexes do not include India either.

India imposes a 20% withholding tax on foreign investors buying and selling local debt, seen as a deterrent for traders, as well as index providers.

India’s Finance Ministry did not immediately reply to an email from Reuters.

The source, who did not want to be named because he is not authorised to speak to media, also said the federal government’s revenue and expenditure was in line with budget estimates so far.

The government has spent 40% of its budgeted capital expenditure by early September, the source said.

India’s federal government is targeting a fiscal deficit of 5.9% of GDP for the financial year ending March 31, 2024 and will borrow 6.55 trillion rupees ($78.70 billion)in the October-March period.

Net borrowing during that period will be 3.74 trillion rupees, which includes repayment of 2.81 trillion rupees on account of securities maturing, the person said.

($1 = 83.2275 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nikunj Ohri, writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar; editing by Sudipto Ganguly and Nivedita Bhattacharjee)