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INS okays 49 per cent FDI in print media

The executive committee of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has passed a proposal to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in print media from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. There was near unanimity at a meeting of the committee on Monday on the proposal with only Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi striking dissenting notes. With […]

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi |
August 1, 2013 11:36:30 pm

The executive committee of the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has passed a proposal to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in print media from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.

There was near unanimity at a meeting of the committee on Monday on the proposal with only Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi striking dissenting notes.

With INS set to recommend to the ministry of information and broadcasting 49 per cent FDI in print through the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB) route,the government only needs Press Council of India nod to give its go-ahead.

This was also the recommendation of a sectoral innovation panel headed by a former secretary in the information and broadcasting ministry. The panel,formed after more than one forum expressed the fear of “foreign content” flooding media,had submitted its report a year ago.

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“An overwhelming majority of committee members felt the FDI cap should be increased to 49 per cent in the interest of the industry. Some also said this was important for media autonomy,” said a person who attended the meeting.

Meanwhile,Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released a consultation paper Tuesday recommending the same increase in FDI cap for news and current affairs channels.

It,however,set conditions such as if the FDI limit in uplinking news and current affairs channels was enhanced to 49 per cent,the remaining shares would have to be held by a single Indian. The authority has invited comments from stakeholders by August 12.

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