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CA Sandeep Kanoi

IRFC is a dedicated financing arm of the Ministry of  Railways.  Its  sole objective is to raise money from the market to part finance the plan outlay of Indian Railways.  The money so made available is used for acquisition of rolling stock assets and for  meeting other  developmental needs of the Indian Railways.

The borrowing programme of IRFC is guided by the requirements projected by Ministry of Railways.  The company has successfully met the targeted borrowings year after year, through issue of both taxable and tax-free Bonds, term loans from banks/financial institutions and through off shore borrowings.  IRFC also makes use of innovative financial instruments to diversify the debt portfolio and to minimize the cost.  Its contribution to infrastructure build-up in Railways is very significant. Till 31st March, 2012, Rolling Stock assets – Locomotives, Coaches and Wagons – valued at Rs. 82,447 crore have been added to the asset base of the Indian Railways with funding assistance from IRFC. IRFC’s funding has support technology infusion   in the Railways and has enabled Ministry of Railways to purchase new generation Locomotives from General Motors (USA) alongwith transfer of technology and new generation Coaches from Germany for use in high speed/Shatabdi trains.

IRFC is issuing Tranche II of Tax Free Bonds from 28 Feb 2014 to 07 Mar 2014. Key Features of the issue are as follows :-

  • Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd is fully owned by the Government of India and is a dedicated financing arm of the Ministry of  Railways.
  • Issue Size: proposes to raise Rs. 1,50,000 lakhs with an option to retain oversubscription upto Rs.  1,41,687.85 lakhs aggregating to Rs.  2,91,687.85 lakhs.
  • Credit Ratings: AAA by ICRA and CARE, AAA/Stable by CRISIL
  • Interest on these Bonds is Tax-Free, no TDS is applicable, Wealth Tax is not levied (Detailed Note is given Below)
  • Basis of Allotment : On first come first serve basis

Issue Structure: Issue of Tax free Secured Redeemable Non-convertible bonds

Options / Series of Bonds Series 1 Series 2
Tenor 10 years 15 years
Coupon Rate % p.a. (Category I, II and III) 8.19 8.63
Total Coupon Rate % p.a. (Category IV) 8.44 8.88
Frequency of Interest payment Annual Annual
Face Value / Issue Price per Bond Rs 1,000
Minimum Application Rs 5,000 (in multiples of Rs 1,000 thereafter)
Issuance Demat and Physical form
Interest on application % p.a. As per coupon rate applicable to investor category
Interest on refund % p.a. 5.0
Proposed to be listed on BSE and NSE


Under the current tax laws, the following possible tax benefits, inter alia, will be available to the Bond Holder. This is not a complete analysis or listing of all potential tax consequences of the subscription, ownership and disposal of the Bond, under the current tax laws presently in force in India. The benefits are given as per the prevailing tax laws and may vary from time to time in accordance with amendments to the law or enactments thereto. The Bond Holder is advised to consider in his own case the tax implications in respect of subscription to the Bond after consulting his tax advisor as alternate views are possible. Interpretation of provisions where under the contents of this statement of tax benefit is formulated may be considered differently by income tax authority, government, tribunals or court. We are not liable to the Bond Holder in any manner for placing reliance upon the contents of this statement of tax benefits.


1. Interest from Bond do not form part of Total Income.

(a) In exercise of power conferred by item (h) of sub clause (iv) of clause (15) of Section 10 of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the Central Government vide notification no 61/2013/ F.No.178/37/2013-(ITA.I) dated 8th August 2013 authorizes Indian Railway Finance Corporation Ltd. to issue during the Financial year 2013-14, tax free, secured, redeemable, non-convertible bonds of ` 1,000 each for the aggregate amount not exceeding ` 10,00,000 lakhs subject to the other following conditions that –

(i) It shall be mandatory for the subscribers of such bonds to furnish their permanent account number to the issuer.

(ii) The holder of such bonds must register his or her name and holding with the issuer.

(iii) The tenure of the bonds shall be ten, fifteen or twenty years.

(iv) There shall be a ceiling on the coupon rates based on the reference Government security (G-sec) rate;

(v) The reference G-sec rate would be the average of the base yield of G-sec for equivalent maturity reported by Fixed Income Money Market and Derivative Association of India (FIMMDA) on a daily basis (working day) prevailing for two weeks ending on the Friday immediately preceding the filing of the final prospectus with the Exchange or Registrar of Companies (ROC) in case of public issue and the issue opening date in case of private placement.

(vi) The ceiling coupon rate for AAA rated issuers shall be the reference G-sec rate less 55 basis points in case of Retail Individual Investor and reference G-sec less 80 basis points in case of other investor segments, like Qualified Institutional Buyers(QIB’s), Corporates and High Net worth Individuals.

(vii) In case the rating of the issuer entity is AA+, the ceiling rate shall be 10 basis points above the ceiling rate for AAA rated entities as given in the clause (vii).

(viii) In case the rating of the issuer entity is AA or AA-, the ceiling rate shall be 20 basis points above the ceiling rate for AAA rated entities as given in the clause (vii).

(ix) These ceiling rates shall apply for annual payment of interest and in case the schedule of interest payments is altered to semi-annual, the interest rates shall be reduced by 15 basis points;

(x) The higher rate of interest, applicable to retail investors, shall not be available in case the bonds are transferred by Retail investors to non retail investors.

(xi) At least 70% of aggregate amount of bonds shall be raised through public issue. 40% of such public shall be earmarked for retail investors.

(b) Total issue expenses shall not exceed 0.65% of the issue size in case of public issue and in case of private placement, it shall not exceed 0.25% of the issue size.

The issue expense would include all expenses relating to the issue like brokerage, advertisement, printing, registration etc.

(c) Section 10(15)(iv)(h) to be read with Section 14A(1) provides that in computing the total income of a previous year of any person, interest payable by any public sector company in respect of such bonds or debentures and subject to such conditions, including the condition that the holder of such bonds or debentures registers his name and the holding with that company, as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf shall not be included;

Further, as per Section 14 A(1), no deduction shall be allowed in respect of expenditure incurred by the assesse in relation to said interest, being exempt under the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Section 2(36A) of the IT Act defines Public Sector Company as any corporation established by or under any state Central, State, Provincial Act or a Government company as defined section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956.

(d) Accordingly, pursuant to the aforesaid notification, interest from bond will be exempt from income tax.

(e) Since the interest Income on these bonds is exempt, no Tax Deduction at Source is required. However,

interest on application money would be liable for TDS as well as tax as per present tax laws.


(a) Under section 2 (29A) of the I.T. Act, read with section 2 (42A) of the I.T. Act, a listed Bond is treated as a long term capital asset if the same is held for more than 12 months immediately preceding the date of its transfer.

Under section 112 of the I.T. Act, capital gains arising on the transfer of long term capital assets being listed securities are subject to tax at the rate of 20% of capital gains calculated after reducing indexed cost of acquisition or 10% of capital gains without indexation of the cost of acquisition. The capital gains will be computed by deducting expenditure incurred in connection with such transfer and cost of acquisition/indexed cost of acquisition of the bonds from the sale consideration.

However as per third proviso to section 48 of Income tax act, 1961, benefits of indexation of cost of acquisition under second proviso of section 48 of Income tax Act, 1961 is not available in case of bonds and debenture, except capital indexed bonds. Thus, long term capital gain tax can be considered 10% on listed bonds without indexation.

Securities Transaction Tax (“STT”) is a tax being levied on all transactions in specified securities done on the stock exchanges at rates prescribed by the Central Government from time to time. STT is not applicable on transactions in the Bonds.

In case of an individual or HUF, being a resident, where the total income as reduced by the long term capital gains is below the maximum amount not chargeable to tax i.e. `2,00,000 in case of all individuals, ` 250,000 in case of resident senior citizens and ` 500,000 in case of resident super senior citizens, the long term capital gains shall be reduced by the amount by which the total income as so reduced falls short of the maximum amount which is not chargeable to income-tax and the tax on the balance of such long-term capital gains shall be computed at the rate of ten per cent in accordance with and the proviso to sub-section (1) of section 112 of the I.T. Act read with CBDT Circular 721 dated September 13, 1995.

A 2% education cess and 1% secondary and higher education cess on the total income tax (including surcharge for corporate only) is payable by all categories of tax payers.

(b) Short-term capital gains on the transfer of listed bonds, where bonds are held for a period of not more than 12 months would be taxed at the normal rates of tax in accordance with and subject to the provision of the I.T. Act.

The provisions related to minimum amount not chargeable to tax, surcharge and education cess described at Para 2 (a) above would also apply to such short-term capital gains.

(c) Under Section 54 EC of the I .T. Act and subject to the conditions and to the extent specified therein, long term capital gains arising to the bondholders on transfer of their bonds in the company shall not be  chargeable to tax to the extent such capital gains are invested in certain notified bonds within six months from the date of transfer. If only part of the capital gain is so invested, the exemption shall be proportionately reduced. However, if the said notified bonds are transferred or converted into money within a period of three years from their date of acquisition, the amount of capital gains exempted earlier would become chargeable to tax as long term capital gains in the year in which the bonds are transferred or converted into money. Where the benefit of Section 54 EC of the I.T. Act has been availed of on investments in the notified bonds, a deduction from the income with reference to such cost shall not be allowed under Section 80 C of the I.T. Act. The investment made in the notified bonds by an assessee in any financial year cannot exceed ` 50 lacs.

(d) As per the provisions of section 54F of the Income Tax Act, 1961 and subject to conditions specified therein, any long-term capital gains (not being residential house) arising to Bond Holder who is an individual or Hindu Undivided Family, are exempt from capital gains tax if the entire net sales considerations is utilized, within a period of one year before, or two years after the date of transfer, in purchase of a new residential house, or for construction of residential house within three years from the date of transfer. If part of such net sales consideration is invested within the prescribed period in a residential house, then such gains would be chargeable to tax on a proportionate basis.

Provided that the said Bond Holder should not own more than one residential house at the time of such transfer. If the residential house in which the investment has been made is transferred within a period of three years from the date of its purchase or construction, the amount of capital gains tax exempted earlier would become chargeable to tax as long term capital gains in the year in which such residential house is transferred. Similarly, if the Bond Holder purchases within a period of two years or constructs within a period of three years after the date of transfer of capital asset, another residential house (other than the new residential house referred above), then the original exemption will be taxed as capital gains in the year in which the additional residential house is acquired or constructed.

(e) The income by way of short term capital gains or long term capital gains (not covered under Section 10(38) of the IT Act) realized by FIIs on sale of security in the Company would be taxed at the following rates as per Section 115AD of the I.T. Act.

• Short term capital gains- 30% (plus applicable surcharge and education cess).

• Long term capital gains – 10% without cost indexation (plus applicable surcharge and education cess)

As per section 90(2) of the IT Act, the provision of the IT Act would not prevail over the provision of the tax treaty applicable to the non-resident to the extent such tax treaty provisions are more beneficial to the non resident. Thus, a non resident can opt to be governed by the beneficial provisions of an applicable tax treaty.

(f) Under section 195 of the Income Tax Act, Income Tax shall be deducted from sum payable to non residents on the long term capital gain and short term capital gain arising on sale and purchase of bonds at the rate specified in the Finance Act of the relevant year or the rate or rates of the income tax specified in an agreement entered into by the Central Government under section 90, or an agreement notified by the Central Government under section 90A, as the case may be.

However under section 196D, No deduction of tax shall be made from income arising by way of capital gain to Foreign Institutional Investors.


In case the Bonds are held as stock in trade, the income on transfer of bonds would be taxed as business income or loss in accordance with and subject to the provisions of the I.T. Act.


As per section 56(2) (vii) of the I.T. Act, in case where individual or Hindu undivided Family receives bond from any person on or after 1st October, 2009

A. without any consideration, aggregate fair market value of which exceeds fifty thousand rupees, then the whole of the aggregate fair market value of such bonds/debentures or;

B. for a consideration which is less than the aggregate fair market value of the Bond by an amount exceeding fifty thousand rupees, then the aggregate fair market value of such property as exceeds such consideration;

shall be taxable as the income of the recipient.

Provided further that this clause shall not apply to any sum of money or any property received—

a) from any relative; or

b) on the occasion of the marriage of the individual; or

c) under a will or by way of inheritance; or

d) in contemplation of death of the payer or donor, as the case may be; or

e) from any local authority as defined in the Explanation to clause (20) of section 10; or

f) from any fund or foundation or university or other educational institution or hospital or other medical institution or any trust or institution referred to in clause (23C) of section 10; or g) from any trust or institution registered under section 12AA.


Wealth-tax is not levied on investment in bond under section 2(ea) of the Wealth-tax Act, 1957.


The Hon‘ble Finance Minister has presented the Direct Tax Code Bill, 2010 (“DTC Bill”) on August 30, 2010. The DTC Bill is likely to be presented before the Indian Parliament thereafter. Accordingly, it is currently unclear what effect the Direct Tax Code would have on the investors.

(Please Note the above is For the purpose of information only, invest only after referring to the final prospectus which is available on the website of IRFC)

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  1. hemen parekh says:

    Create Wealth to Create Jobs

    Our current Personal Income Tax slabs are :

    > Up to Rs 2.0 Lakhs………………….. NIL
    > 2.1 Lakh – 5.0 Lakh……………….. 10 %
    > 5.1 Lakh – 10.0 Lakh………………. 20 %
    > More than Rs 10 lakh……………….. 30 %

    That means , the more you earn , the more tax you pay !

    How does this wrong tax regime hurt our economy ?

    This regime ,

    > Punishes honest people

    > Penalizes wealth creation

    > Encourages creation of ” Black Money ”

    > Provides incentive for tax evasion

    > Diverts resources into unproductive assts such as cash/gold/land etc

    > Stops people from working harder / smarter

    With this regime , people tend to ask :

    > Why should I work hard and earn more , if the more I earn the more I
    pay ?

    > Why not evade paying taxes by hiding real income ?

    > How will I ever be able to buy that 1 room flat costing Rs 50 lakhs ? I
    need Rs 20 lakhs by way of black money to buy it ! Where do I get that ?

    > For every rupee that the government collects from me as tax , only 15
    paise come back to me in the form of civic amenities .

    A few years back , the tax regime was worse !

    One ended up paying , by way of tax , Rs 0.93 from every rupee earned !

    And after heaping on the honest tax-payers , all such disincentives , how much does our government collect by way of taxes ?

    > Total Tax Receipts ……………………………….. Rs 12.4 Lakh Crores

    > Personal Income Tax contributes………………..Rs 2.47 Lakh Crores

    Is there a way to raise that Rs 2.47 lakh Crores to Rs 247 Lakh Crores ?

    Can we raise it by 100 FOLD ?

    I am not an Economist ( my advantage ! )

    So , here is my crazy suggestion

    ” Inverse ” the tax slabs as follows :

    > Up to Rs 2 lakhs………………… NIL
    > 2.1 – 5.0 lakhs…………………. 10 %
    > 5.1 – 10 lakhs………………….. 8 %
    > 10.1 – 20 lakhs…………………. 6 %
    > 20.1 – 50 lakhs………………… 5 %
    > 50.1 – 100 lakhs………………… 3 %
    > Above 100 lakhs…………………. 1 %

    What is likely to happen with such ” INVERSE TAXATION ” regime ?

    Following few things :

    > Total personal tax payer base will go up dramatically from current 4
    crores tax-payers

    > Total personal tax collection too , will rise dramatically

    > Today , only 1 % of 4 crores tax payers ( approx 4 lakhs ) , contribute
    nearly 63 % of personal tax revenue ( of Rs 2.47 lakh crores )

    This ratio will change to , may be , 20 % of tax payers !

    > with this ” INVERSE TAX REGIME ” , there will be no incentive to evade
    taxes and to generate ” BLACK MONEY ”

    There will be no resistance to accept ALL payments by cheque / electronic
    clearance !

    The more you disclose as your income , the less you pay by way of taxes

    > For a change , we will learn to reward honesty / efficiency / productivity !
    No need to bribe those Income Tax officers !

    > Suddenly , lakhs of crores of BLACK MONEY , stashed away in bank
    lockers / gold / land – and , of course those Swiss bank accounts – will ,
    suddenly become ” WHITE MONEY ” !

    > There will be a huge surge in bank deposits ( – even with , the inevitable
    lower interest rates )

    > Banks will be awash with funds to finance businesses / infrastructure
    projects etc , encouraging entrepreneurs / self-employed to set up new
    businesses ( at 2 % interest rates of loans ) and generate millions of jobs

    > There will be a phenomenal rise in Capital Markets

    Now couple this ” INVERSE TAX REGIME ” , with the following ” TAX FREE ” investment schemes , by creating Special Purpose Vehicles ( SPV ) :


    To implement Narendra Modi’s ambitious project to build 100 smart cities,
    at an investment of Rs 70 lakh crores , in next 5 years

    This project alone will create 5 million new jobs , every year

    > RaGa MEGA – JOBS SPV

    To implement Rahul Gandhi’s equally ambitious project to provide jobs to
    50 million youth over the next 5 years , at an investment of Rs 50 lakh

    In my opinion , such ” INVERSE TAX REGIME ” , coupled with the above mentioned SPVs , will herald an ” ECONOMIC ECO – SYSTEM “, which,

    > will create jobs

    > shun tax evasion

    > reduce corruption

    > convert all BLACK MONEY into WHITE MONEY

    > channelize these WHITE MONEY into nation-building projects

    To complete this ECO SYSTEM , we need to think ” Out of the Box ” in the matter of Corporate Tax Regime , as well

    Current trend in industry , all over the world , is to

    > Add highly productive , very expensive machinery to ” Automate ” all
    manufacturing processes

    > Reduce manpower by increasing ” Capital / IT Intensity ”

    > Hire low skilled workers by transferring higher ” Skills ” to machinery

    > Outsource manufacturing to countries where manpower is cheap

    > Move out of ” Manufacturing ” and shift to ” Services ”

    India cannot swim against this World-wide Trend

    We must innovate, to not only survive but to grow in this scenario

    Here is my suggestion :

    Set in motion , ” INVERSION of JOB REDUCTION ” regime , under which ,

    ” The more jobs a company creates , the less Corporate Tax it pays ”

    Example :

    > Up to employment of 100 persons …………………………. 30 % tax
    > 101 – 500 persons……………………………………………. 25 %
    > 501 – 1000 persons …………………………………………… 20 %
    > 1001 – 5000 persons ………………………………………….. 15 %
    > 5001 – 10,000 persons …………………………………………. 10 %
    > Above 10,000 persons …………………………………………. 5 %

    Let us celebrate those who provide employment to large number of persons

    Let us celebrate BIGNESS

    Let us create hundreds of WORLD SIZE corporations and take on the World

    On top of this , provide additional tax – breaks ( discounts ? ) to corporate as follows :

    > Average Age of Employees at 30 years………………….. 1 %
    > Ave age at 25 years…………………………………………. 2 %
    > Ave age at 20 years …………………………………………. 3 %

    Of course , very strict and transparent rules will need to be framed to


    > Number of Employees ( Permanent – not probationers / trainees )

    > Average Age ( as on 31 March of Tax year )……etc

    But , here is an important aspect of this ,

    ” Incentivize Job Creation ” Scheme

    Today’s labour laws make it extremely difficult – if not impossible – for employers to layoff / retrench workmen , if demand shrinks

    Hence , to take advantage of this Scheme , employers are unlikely to hire thousands of youth , if they cannot easily trim the workforce , to match the shrinking demand

    So , an important corollary of this Scheme is to modify our existing Labour Laws to facilitate layoff / retrenchment , when situation so demands , while protecting the interests of the workmen concerned

    And , last but not the least , permit each and every candidate – and the political parties as well – to spend ANY AMOUNT on election campaigns ,
    without any restrictions as also accept any amount of Corporate Donations
    by cheque

    I rest my case !

    * hemen parekh ( 27 Feb 2014 / Mumbai )

  2. joginder sud says:

    I am a senior ciotizen of age 79. I want to how is the liquidity of these bonds in secondary market. If liquidity is poor, then at my age it may not be prudent to invest in them.
    Guidance will be appreciated.

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