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India's plan to float foreign-currency bonds stalls

Experts warn of debt 'addiction' and fault lack of clear policy framework

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman enters parliament on July 5 to present the government's 2019 budget, which included a proposal to issue foreign-currency debt.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- The Indian government's plans for its first foreign-currency bonds appear to have run aground in the face of criticism from economists and a lack of clarity about how much borrowing will take place.

"Nothing more has been done," on the issuance of foreign currency-denominated sovereign bonds beyond the initial proposal made during the annual budget presentation in July, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said earlier this month. "And that's where it is," she said, adding that she would not speculate on the size of the issue, whether it will happen in tranches or when it will start.

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