The Centre will sell up to 20% of equity shares of the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation through an offer, which opened for bidding on Thursday, PTI reported.

A floor price of Rs 1,367 per share has been set for the sale. Non-retail investors would be allowed to bid on Thursday, and retail investors on Friday.

IRCTC’s shares on Thursday opened 10% lower to Rs 1,451. At 12.40 pm, they were down by 8.04% at 1487.75. The company’s shares on Wednesday closed at Rs 1,618.05 on the BSE, down 1.55% from its previous close.

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, or IRCTC, is a subsidiary of the Indian Railways that handles the catering, tourism and online ticketing operations. The government currently holds a 87.4% stake in the public sector railway undertaking worth Rs 2,275 crore.

The government of India has proposed selling up to 2.4 crore shares in IRCTC, representing 15% of the paid up equity share capital of the company through offer of sale route, according to Mint. The government has also proposed an additional sale of 0.8 crore shares, representing 5% of the paid up equity share capital, in case of oversubscription. Combinedly, the base offer size and oversubscription option represent 20% of outstanding equity shares of the company.

This is expected to garner Rs 4,374 crore for the exchequer. This will help the government in meeting the Rs 2.10 lakh crore disinvestment target. Out of this target, Rs 1.20 lakh crore will come from disinvestment of public sector undertakings and another Rs 90,000 crore from stake sale in financial institutions.

IRCTC was listed on the stock exchanges in October 2019. The company had raised Rs 645 crore through the Initial Public Offering.

The Union Cabinet had in April 2017 approved listing of five railway companies. While four of them – IRCON International, Rail India Technical and Economic Service, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd and IRTC – have already been listed, the Indian Railway Finance Corporation is likely to be put on the block in this financial year.