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SEBI Launches Information Database on Municipal Bonds

Markets regulator SEBI has launched an information database on municipal bonds. As part of efforts to develop the bond markets, an outreach programme on municipal bonds and municipal finance was organised by SEBI in the national capital. Representatives from various stakeholders, including the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, municipal corporations, stock exchanges, credit rating agencies, merchant bankers and debenture trustees, participated in the programme.

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About The Information Database:

The information database contains a wide range of information in the form of statistics and regulations, circulars, guidance note and Frequently Asked Questions issued by Sebi in respect of municipal debt securities.

The repository contains various checklists for pre-listing requirements and sample letters and certificates from various intermediaries to be obtained by an issuer who plans to tap the municipal bond market.

About Municipal Bonds :

municipal bond (muni) is a debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures, including the construction of highways, bridges or schools. Through muni bonds, a municipal corporation raises money from individuals or institutions and promises to pay a specified amount of interest and returns the principal amount on a specific maturity date. These are mostly exempt from federal taxes and from most state and local taxes, making them especially attractive to people in high income tax brackets.

Significance of Municipal Bonds Market:

Municipal Bonds can help the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) to garner revenue to complete budgetary projects as property tax is the only major source of municipal revenue. Growth of the municipal bond market is critical for India’s large cities and towns to upgrade their creaking infrastructure. The ability of municipal bodies to be self-sustaining is also critical to the success of the Centre’s pet projects such as Smart Cities and Amrut.

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