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NEW DELHI: India’s federal government plans to borrow 8.88 trillion rupees ($108.08 billion) - slightly above expectations - via bonds from the market in the first six months of the fiscal year starting April 1.

The planned April-September borrowing constitutes about 57.6% of the total 15.43 trillion rupees planned for the current fiscal year, the government said in a statement on Wednesday. Borrowing in the first six months is slightly above market expectations of about 55% of this year’s target. The government said the borrowing will be done through bonds of three, five, seven, 10, 14, 30 and 40 years tenure.

It plans to borrow between 310 billion and 390 billion rupees a week in the first half of the fiscal year. Borrowing has more than doubled from levels in 2019 - when Prime Minister Narendra Modi stormed to a landslide re-election - as the government’s social spending on free food and subsidies rose to record highs largely due to the pandemic.

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