union budget 2017, rail budget 2017, railway budget 2017, listing of rail psus, ircon, irfc, irctc, online railway tickets, profile of irctc
A member of staff walks beside a train in the New Delhi railway station, India February 1, 2017.Reuters

It's good news for investors looking to seek a pie of profit-making public sector undertakings (PSUs) operating with interests in railways. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Union Budget 2017 speech that IRCTC, IRCON and IRFC will be listed in financial year 2017-18.

Read: Union Budget 2017 hands out Rs 15,500 crore tax relief bonanza for individuals 

Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) predominantly derives its revenues from sale of railway tickets online — it sold 200 million tickets on its portal valued at about Rs 22,500 crore in 2015-16. Other businesses of IRCTC include catering and tourism promotion with packaged tours (tourist circuits).

The company had 1,483 employees and earned net profit of Rs 188.63 crore in 2015-16, according to its annual report for FY2016.

IRCON International Ltd. is a construction company engaged in railway electrification, signal and telecommunication, construction of roads, highways, commercial, industrial and residential complexes, airport runways, airport constructions, leasing of locomotives and mass rapid transit system.

The company earned net profit of Rs 379 crore on total income of Rs 2,703 crore in 2015-16. It had 1,499 employees as of March 31, 2016.

IRFC, or Indian Railway Finance Corporation, is a financial services company under the railway ministry, reported net profit of Rs 848.69 crore on total income of Rs 7,503 crore in 2015-16.

Company Profile Employees 2015-16 2014-15 2013-14
IRCTC Ticketing, catering, tourism 1,483 Income 1,505*  Net Profit 188*  Income 1,141*Net Profit 130* Income 955*Net Profit 72* 
IRCON Infrastructure 1,499 Sales 2,703* Net Profit 379*  Sales 3,122*Net Profit 579*  Sales 4,057*Net Profit 907*
IRFC Financial services  Not available Sales 7,503*Net Profit 848*  Sales 6,940*Net Profit 758* Sales 6,198*Net Profit 700*

*: Figures in Rs crore.

Source: Annual reports.

IRCTC had estimated that its ticket sales for FY2017 (April 2016-March 2017) would about 225 million and earn Rs 27,000 crore.

Other initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2017: 

No service charge on tickets booked online

No passenger fare hike

New metro rail policy to be formulated shortly

Safety Fund of Rs 100,000 crore

Total expenditure allocation of Rs 131,000 crore for FY2018

Make 500 railway stations differently-abled in FY2018

Elimination of all unmanned rail crossings by 2020

Finance and accounting reforms

There are companies with exposure to Indian Railways in the form of supplying equipment, coaches and undertaking infra projects. The companies include KEC International, Texmaco, Kalindi Rail and Titagarh Wagons.