100% FDI in non-news publications

Author: | Published: 1 Jul 2005
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Mulla & Mulla & Craigie Blunt & Caroe

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The government of India has raised the existing investment limit of foreign direct investment (FDI) from 74% to 100% in Indian publications publishing non-news material in scientific, technical and specialty magazines or periodicals and journals. No substantive definition of technical and specialty magazines has been provided, so the government is likely to grant clearances on a case-by-case basis.

Directives recently issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) state that clearance from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board would be required when FDI and foreign institutional investments (FIIs) are envisaged. However, in the case of portfolio investments, the applicants would only need Reserve Bank of India approval, irrespective of whether the foreign investment is routed as FDI or FII. The investors must obtain a no-objection certificate from the Ministry of I&B.

This relaxation could be a prelude to liberalization in the media sector, both print and broadcasting. The government is considering uniform FDI, up to 26%, across different media platforms, such as print, direct-to-home (DTH), television, and radio as recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. In the case of print media, the government has permitted 100% FDI for full facsimile editions of foreign newspapers printed in India.

Shardul Thacker