1. What are NABARD notified bonds?
NABARD issued its Tax-Free Bonds to the amount of INR 5,000 crores with tenures of 10, 15 and 20 years in March 2016. The bonds were given a rating of ‘CRISIL AAA/Stable’ by the Credit Rating Information Services Of India Limited (CRISIL), and a rating of ‘IND AAA/Stable’ by India Ratings. This means the bonds received the highest rating in terms of safety and the institutions’ ability to service its financial obligations. The bond carries low credit risk.
2. About NABARD
The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), established in 1982 by a special Act of the Parliament, is one of the highest development institutions in India. The mission of the institution is the upliftment of the rural sectors of India. It seeks to develop the rural areas of India by improving the agricultural and the non-farm sectors with the help of increased credit flow in these areas.
Under the NABARD Act, the Bank is mandated to aid the flow of credit for the development and promotion of small-scale industries, agriculture, handicrafts, cottage industries, etc., along with other related economic activities in the rural regions.
3. NABARD Tax-Free Bonds (2016): Key HIghlights
a) Coupon Rate
The coupon rates offered to retail investors with less than INR 10 lakh investment is as followed:
i) The coupon rate for 15-year duration bonds: 7.64 percent
ii) The coupon rate for 10-year duration bonds: 7.29 percent
Retail investors with applications above INR 10 lakh investment were subject to 0.25 percent less interest comparatively. The coupon rate for these investors stood at 7.04 percent on 10-year bonds and 7.35 percent on a 15-year bond.
b) Face Value and the minimum investment
The face value of the bond was INR 1000 and the minimum interest requirement stood at 5 bonds, INR 5000 and in multiples of 1 bond after that.
c) Non-Resident Indians do not qualify to apply for these tax-free bonds.
d) Tax and Interest
As the name suggests, there is no tax deducted on interest, therefore no TDS deductions. The interest is paid annually.
4. Why should I invest in tax-free bonds?
There are good reasons for investing in tax-free bonds.
a) These bonds are mostly AAA/AA rated and are secure
b) As is indicative of the name, the bonds are tax-free as per the Income Tax Act of 1961
c) There is a good scope for capital appreciation with falling interest rates
d) These give you the option of selling in the secondary market if you wish to exit as they are listed on the NSE/BSE. (Note: NABARD Tax-Free Bonds are proposed to be listed on the BSE)
If you are unsure about which investment scheme suits your goals and needs best, get in touch with a financial expert for guidance. At ClearTax, we help you meet understand and achieve your financial goals.
5. The Advantages of Investing in NABARD Tax-Free bonds
a) As a Government of India enterprise, it is a safe institution to invest in
b) The NABARD tax-free bonds proposed to be listed on the BSE which will offer its holders liquidity
c) The interest income from this bond is tax-free and payable annually
d) Investors who do not have a Demat account needn’t worry as these bonds can be held in physical form as well
e) The NABARD tax-free bonds have an ‘AAA’ rating.
6. Disadvantages of Investing in NABARD Tax Free Bonds
Investing in the NABARD tax-free bonds may not be the best bet for investors with a low-income tax bracket. It is not the best investment option for investors in the 10 or 20 percent income slab rate. (It is better suited to you if you are an investor with an income slab rate of 30 percent as this will give you a reliable source of income systematically over a long-term)
In terms of returns, one can get 12 to 15 percent with risk tolerance, with investment options like equity mutual funds
7. Is investing in the NABARD Tax-Free bonds a good investment option for you?
NABARD tax-free bonds are a good investment option if it matches your financial goals. Consider the following before opting for these tax-free bonds:
a) Evaluate your financial goals before investing and do not invest only because the interest income is not subject to taxation
b) If you have relatively long-term financial goals, equity-related investments would be a better option for you
c) Assess the trade-off between the high returns of mutual funds and the post-tax benefits of tax-free bonds
Note: This analysis is based on market research and ClearTax in no way endorses this or any other institution or company.