Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) was set up on 12th December, 1986 as the dedicated financing arm of the Indian Railways for mobilizing funds from domestic as well as overseas Capital Markets.
IRFC is a Schedule ‘A’ Public Sector Enterprise under the administrative control of the Ministry of Railways, Govt. of India. It is also registered as Systemically Important Non–Deposit taking Non Banking Financial Company (NBFC – ND-SI) and Infrastructure Finance Company (NBFC- IFC) with Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
In more than 30 years of existence, IRFC has played a significant role in supporting the expansion of the Indian Railways and related entities by financing a significant proportion of its annual plan outlay.
The primary objective of IRFC is to meet the predominant portion of ‘Extra Budgetary Resources’ (EBR) requirement of the Indian Railways through market borrowings at the most competitive rates and terms. The Company’s principal business therefore is to borrow funds from the financial markets to finance the acquisition / creation of assets which are then leased out to the Indian Railways.
IRFC’s cumulative funding to rail sector has crossed Rs.5.04 lakh crore as of 31st March, 2022. The funds are utilized for acquiring rolling stock assets and also building up infrastructure, constituting significant part of annual capital expenditure of Indian Railways. So far, it has funded acquisition of 13764 locomotives, 76735 passenger coaches, 265815 wagons, which constitute around 75% of the total rolling stock fleet of Indian Railways. From 2011-12 onwards, IRFC has forayed into funding of railway projects and capacity enhancement works.
IRFC has also been lending to various entities in Railway sector like Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), Railtel, Konkan Railway Corporation Limited (KRCL), Pipavav Railway Corporation Limited (PRCL) etc.
IRFC’s constant endeavor has been to diversify its borrowing portfolio in terms of instruments, markets and investors which has led to the Company meeting the targeted borrowings year after year, through issue of both taxable and tax-free bonds, term loan from banks/financial institutions besides off shore borrowings, at competitive market rate.