How to Buy Treasury Bills in India?

How to Buy Treasury Bills in India?

Are you looking for a secure and liquid investment option in India? Look no further than Treasury Bills! These short-term debt instruments, issued by the Reserve Bank of India on behalf of the government, provide a brilliant possibility to meet your investment goals. Whether you’re an individual or an institution, buying Treasury Bills can diversify your portfolio and provide a dependable source of profits. In this blog post, we’ll explore everything you need to know about how to buy Treasury Bills in India. So, let’s dive in and discover this exciting investment avenue that combines safety, liquidity, and attractive returns!

What is a Treasury Bill?

How to Buy Treasury Bills in India?

Treasury Bills, also called T-bills, are short-term debt instruments issued via the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of the government. These economic units play a vital function in assembling the authorities’s brief-time period investment requirements and coping with liquidity in the economic machine.

Unlike traditional bonds, T-bills are sold at a discount to their face value. This means that investors can purchase them for less than their actual worth. The difference between the face value and the purchase price represents the investor’s return.

One key advantage of investing money in T-bills is their safety. These instruments are backed by the creditworthiness of the Indian government, providing reassurance to investors regarding repayment.

When considering investing in Treasury Bills, it’s essential to take tax implications into account. Income generated from T-bills is subject to taxation based on an individual’s tax slab and holding period.

Why Does the Government Issue Treasury Bills?

The government’s issuance of Treasury Bills serves crucial purposes, meeting short-term funding needs and bridging cash flow gaps effectively. T-bills play a vital role in managing liquidity by absorbing surplus funds from investors and preventing inflationary pressures in the financial system.

These bills offer a secure investment avenue, attracting both individuals and institutions. With minimal default risk backed by the Indian government’s creditworthiness, T-bills provide returns at maturity for idle funds.

Additionally, Treasury Bills contribute to setting benchmark interest rates in the economy. The yields on T-bills act as reference rates, influencing other short-term borrowing costs. Overall, T-bills enable efficient government financial management, provide safe investment opportunities, and contribute to economic stability.

Types of Treasury Bills in India Based on Maturity Dates

how to buy treasury bills in india

In India, Treasury Bills come in three distinct types categorized by their maturity dates, as offered by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI):

1. 91-day T-bills:

  • Duration: Shortest among the options.
  • Ideal For: Investors seeking quick returns or those with shorter investment horizons.

2. 182-day T-bills:

  • Duration: Slightly longer than the 91-day bill.
  • Ideal For: Investors looking for a balance between duration and potentially higher returns over a relatively short period.

3. 364-day T-bills:

  • Duration: Longest maturity period among all types.
  • Ideal For: Investors opting for a longer holding period to benefit from higher yields.

Each type of Treasury Bill offers flexibility, allowing investors to tailor their choices based on factors such as liquidity requirements and desired returns within specific timeframes. Whether for quick returns, a balanced approach, or maximizing yields over a more extended period, these options cater to diverse investor preferences in the realm of Treasury Bills in India.

How to Buy Treasury Bills in India?

Treasury Bills, also known as T-bills, are a popular investment option in India. These short-term debt contraptions issued through the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of the authorities offer individuals and establishments an opportunity to invest in a stable and liquid device. So, how can you buy Treasury Bills in India? To purchase Treasury Bills in India, investors can explore two primary avenues:

Through Primary Market:

The primary market and the secondary market. In the primary market, individuals can participate in government auctions through the RBI Retail Direct platform. This entails placing direct bids for T-bills, providing an opportunity to secure competitive rates. However, it is essential to have a Demat account linked to a bank account and a solid understanding of auction dynamics to navigate this process effectively.

Through Secondary Market:

Alternatively, the secondary market offers investors the option to buy and sell existing Treasury Bills through stock exchanges or online platforms. This avenue provides greater flexibility as investors can choose specific tenures and interest rates that align with their investment preferences. It is crucial to note that engaging in the secondary market involves brokerage fees, and investors should stay informed about market dynamics to make well-informed decisions.

Whether opting for the primary or secondary market, understanding the intricacies of each approach is key to successfully navigating and making strategic investments in Treasury Bills.

Advantages of Buying Treasury Bills in India

Advantages of Buying Treasury Bills in India

  1. Safety and Security: One of the key advantages of investing in Treasury Bills is their high level of safety and security. As these instruments are issued by the government, they carry minimal risk compared to other investment options. The creditworthiness of the Indian government ensures that investors’ principal amount is protected.
  2. Liquidity: T-bills offer high liquidity, allowing investors to buy or sell them in the secondary market easily before their maturity date. This makes them a flexible investment option, particularly for those who may need access to funds quickly.
  3. Diversification: Including Treasury Bills in your investment portfolio can contribute to diversification as they provide a low-risk asset class with stable returns. By spreading investments across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and T-bills, you can reduce overall portfolio risk.
  1. Short-term Investment Horizon: T-bills have short maturity periods ranging from 91 days to 364 days, making them suitable for investors with a short-term investment horizon. These instruments allow individuals and institutions to park surplus funds temporarily while earning potential returns.
  2. Tax Efficiency: Investors should consider tax implications when buying Treasury Bills as income from these instruments is subject to taxation according to the investor’s tax slab and holding period. However, compared to different constant-income securities like bonds or financial institution deposits, T-bill income is probably more tax-efficient for a few individuals because of its treatment beneath certain sections of the Income Tax Act.
  3. No Interest Rate Risk: Unlike traditional bonds, where interest rates impact their value on secondary markets inversely, treasury bills are sold at a discount price but redeemed at face value upon maturity regardless of prevailing interest rates during the tenure.
  4. Ease of Purchase: Buying treasury bills is relatively simple as it can be done through various channels, such as banks or designated primary dealers authorized by RBI, which offer online platforms facilitating easy transactions.

By considering these advantages, investors can make informed decisions when buying Treasury Bills in India.

Documents Required for Buying Treasury Bills

When it comes to buying treasury bills in India, there are certain documents that you will need to have to complete the method. These documents are essential for verifying your identity and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Here is a list of the documents you will typically need:

  1. PAN Card: Your Permanent Account Number (PAN) card is a mandatory requirement for investing in treasury bills. It serves as proof of your identity and helps track your financial transactions.
  2. KYC Documents: You may also want to put up Know Your Customer (KYC) documents, which encompass proof of address and proof of identity. This may be an Aadhaar card, passport, voter ID card, or motive force’s license.
  3. Bank Account Details: You must provide your bank account details where the funds for purchasing treasury bills will be debited.
  4. Demat Account Details: To hold treasury bills in dematerialized form, you must have a Demat account and provide its details.
  5. Application Form: Fill out the application form provided by the designated entity through which you wish to purchase treasury bills.

It is important to note that these document requirements may vary slightly depending on the institution or platform through which you choose to buy treasury bills.

How to Determine the Yield Rate of Treasury Bills?

How to Determine the Yield Rate of Treasury Bills

Calculating the yield rate of Treasury Bills is a critical step for investors seeking to evaluate potential returns. This rate signifies the annualized return an investor can anticipate by holding a T-bill until its maturity. The calculation relies on two essential factors: the purchase price, which is lower than the face value, creating a discount contributing to the overall return, and the maturity value.

As T-bills do not provide periodic interest, the discount effectively serves as a proxy for the interest earned.

The formula to determine the yield rate involves dividing this discount by the face value and multiplying the result by 100 to express it as a percentage.

The yield rate (Y) of Treasury Bills is determined using the formula:

Y=(100-P)/P x 365/D x 100


Y represents the return percentage,

P is the discounted purchase price of the security, and

D signifies the tenure of the Treasury Bill.

The formula calculates the annualized return from the treasury bill, expressed as a percent, based on the cut price at which the Treasury Bill is offered, the face cost at maturity, and the number of days to maturity. Investors can use this formula to assess and compare potential returns across different maturities, aiding in informed decision-making regarding their investment strategies.

Investors must consider any associated taxes or fees during the T-bill purchase, which can impact net yields. Factoring in these additional costs provides a more comprehensive understanding of overall returns. With this knowledge, investors can confidently assess potential earnings and tailor their investment strategies accordingly.

Risks Involved in Investing in Treasury Bills

Risks Involved in Investing in Treasury Bills

While Treasury Bills (T-bills) are commonly viewed as secure investments, investors should be mindful of potential risks. One significant risk is the impact of inflation on returns, potentially diminishing the real returns for investors due to the fixed interest rate offered by T-bills. Additionally, there is an interest rate risk, where rising interest rates post-purchase could lead to missed opportunities for higher yields elsewhere, incurring an opportunity cost.

Liquidity risk is present, albeit minimal, as T-bills are generally highly liquid, but market conditions can occasionally affect the ease of finding buyers at desired prices. Credit risk, though slight, is associated with T-bill investments; considering the sovereign guarantee of Indian government-backed securities, there remains a small chance of default or delayed payment.

Tax implications play a role, with income generated from T-bills being taxable based on an individual’s tax slab and holding period. Investors should thoroughly assess these risks to ensure alignment with their financial goals and risk tolerance before investing in Treasury Bills.


Investing in Treasury Bills in India can be a smart move for individuals and institutions looking for safe and liquid investment options. These short-term debt instruments issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of the government provide a secure way to park excess funds and earn returns.

By understanding how T-bills work, investors can make informed decisions based on their investment horizon. With maturity periods ranging from 91 days to 364 days, there is flexibility in choosing the most suitable option. Additionally, T-bills offer high liquidity as they can be traded before maturity.

Buying Treasury Bills in India offers individuals and institutions a secure avenue for short-term investments with low risk. Understanding how these instruments work and considering factors such as yield rates and tax implications will enable investors to make informed choices that align with their financial objectives.

FAQs – How to Buy Treasury Bills in India?

Can a normal person buy Treasury bills in India?

Yes, a normal person can buy Treasury bills in India. The Government of India issues these securities, which are available for purchase through primary dealers or designated commercial banks. Individuals can also invest in Treasury bills through mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or directly from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) via their Retail Direct Scheme. However, it is important to note that there may be certain eligibility criteria and minimum investment requirements set by the issuing authority or intermediary institutions. It is advisable to consult with a financial advisor before investing in any type of security, including Treasury bills.

Can I buy Treasury bills directly?

Yes, you can buy Treasury bills directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury through their website or by contacting your local Federal Reserve Bank. However, there may be certain eligibility requirements and minimum investment amounts that need to be met in order to purchase Treasury bills directly.

Are Treasury bills taxable in India?

Yes, Treasury bills are taxable in India. Treasury bills are subject to Capital Gains Tax, which is applied to the profits generated from their purchase and sale. The tax rate varies based on the holding period. If the Treasury bill is held for less than 3 years, it falls under short-term capital gains and is taxed at standard income tax rates. On the other hand, holding it for more than 3 years categorizes it as long-term capital gains, subject to a lower tax rate, and eligible for indexation benefits.

Which is better, fixed deposit or Treasury bill?

Choosing between fixed deposits and Treasury bills depends on individual financial goals and risk tolerance. Fixed deposits typically offer higher interest rates, making them attractive for stable returns, but they have a fixed term and penalties for early withdrawal. Treasury bills have lower rates but are virtually risk-free, with shorter terms and easy liquidity. For higher returns with a longer commitment, fixed deposits may be suitable, while Treasury bills are ideal for low-risk, short-term investments. Consider your financial goals carefully before deciding on the best option for your needs.


This article is only for informational purposes and should not be considered financial advice. Always do thorough research before making any investment decisions.

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