Indian Railways yet do not have a comprehensive strategy to expedite the process of listing railway PSUs
Vishwas Dass | June 14, 2018 | New Delhi
Ministry of railways’ decision of holding the listing of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has exposed its seriousness in listing its public enterprises in stock exchanges.
Although the decision was taken one year back, the national transporter does not have a comprehensive strategy to facilitate the process.
The railways ministry has been delaying the listing of its PSUs for the past one year due to reasons undisclosed. It has not taken proactive measures to list its enterprises to garner funds from the market and introduce the needed transparency.
Post-demonetisation, the centre had permanently waived off the service charge levied by IRCTC on the e-ticket, which was its sole income medium. The IRCTC incurred losses of Rs 500 crore on account of this decision and so far a meager Rs 80-90 crore has been reimbursed by the finance ministry. The service charge was withdrawn on lieu of promoting digital payment.
As the centre did not compensate, the IRCTC kept on incurring losses resulting in poor evaluation of the enterprise. Sources said the railways have made little efforts to compensate losses incurred by IRCTC post-demonetisation.
The cabinet committee on economic affair, in 2017, had cleared the decks to list 11 public sector undertakings, including five railway PSUs namely IRCTC, RITES, IRFC, RVNL and IRCON.
Three days back, minister of railways Piyush Goyal affirmed that he himself had delayed the evaluation process of IRCTC because it was not getting the anticipated evaluation. He said the huge database of IRCTC is not being captured in the valuation. “I am trying to see how we can capture and cross utilise these databases so that we can get better valuation which is comparable to other large customer-base companies,” the minister said.
Goyal also said that the listing of RITES, IRCON and RVNL is underway and would be concluded soon.
The IRCTC has got a huge customer data but it has not compiled it which has now become a problem in being getting evaluated.
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