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.