New Delhi: Indian Railways is planning to consolidate its assets under one holding company with an eye on divesting stakes in some of its public sector undertakings (PSUs).

“Suppose we go for divestment of any of our 14 PSUs, the divested amount will be ploughed back to the holding company and can be redeployed," railway board chairman A.K. Mittal told a press conference on Thursday.

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said in his speech in Parliament that the companies owned by the railways are assets with immense future potential.

“We propose to examine the feasibility of bringing most of these companies under an umbrella of a holding company which would provide the necessary strength for leveraging the combined resources as also in providing the much needed flexibility in utilizing the strength of each of the subsidiaries," Prabhu said in his railway budget speech.

PSUs under Indian Railways include Indian Railway Construction Co. Ltd (IRCON), Indian Railway Finance Corp., Container Corp. of India Ltd, RailTel Corp of India Ltd and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp.

Shares of Container Corp. of India closed at 1,163.20 after rising 2.64% on Thursday, a day the BSE’s benchmark Sensex fell 0.49% to close at 22,976.00.

The government is currently working on a policy to sell strategic stakes in both money-losing as well as profitable public sector units. The policy is expected to be announced in the Union budget to be presented on 29 February.

So far this fiscal, government has raised more than 13,300 crore through disinvestment in five PSUs—Engineers India Ltd, Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, Power Finance Corp. Ltd, Rural Electrification Corp. Ltd and Dredging Corp. of India Ltd. This is against a target of 69,500 crore for 2015-16. A 5% stake sale in NTPC Ltd completed on Wednesday is expected to bring in another 5,000 crore for the government.

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