IR to raise Rs 350 billion for various works by March 2018

Indian Railways (IR) is expected to raise funds worth over Rs 350 billion for procuring passenger coaches and electric locomotives, and undertaking network electrification and line doubling projects and a signalling modernisation programme by March 2018. The funds will be raised in addition to the budgetary resources. As per plans, all borrowings will be undertaken through the Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC). The plan also includes raising funds worth Rs 180 billion from the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) through IRFC bonds. Land for the projects will be licensed to the IRFC for the duration of the lease and IR will pay lease charges to the IRFC enabling the latter to service the bonds issued to LIC and other subscribers. Currently, IR has been permitted to raise Rs 1.5 trillion from LIC till 2020 at an interest rate of 7.5 per cent per annum for a repayment period of 30 years with a moratorium of 10 years. Besides, IRFC is also looking to list on the Bombay Stock Exchange as it expects to raise nearly Rs 40 billion through dollar-denominated bonds. The company has meanwhile listed its first green bonds (valued at $500 million on the London Stock Exchange) with an annual yield of 3.83 per cent, to finance or refinance infrastructure for the dedicated freight corridor and public passenger transport projects.