April 04, 2020
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Yes, You Can Fax It Now

In a major policy change, government decides to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment in facsimile editions of foreign newspapers.

Yes, You Can Fax It Now
Yes, You Can Fax It Now
outlookindia.com
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The following is the full  text of the press statement issued by Rajeev Jain, Director (M&C), ministry of commerce and industry.

GOVERNMENT TO ALLOW FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN FACSIMILE EDITION OF FOREIGN NEWSPAPERS

On a review of the extant policy on Foreign Direct Investment, Government of India has decided to allow foreign investment in publication of facsimile edition of foreign newspapers and Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs.

The policy for foreign direct investment (FDI) in publication of facsimile edition of foreign newspapers include permitting 100 per cent FDI with prior approval of the Government for the publication of the facsimile edition, provided the FDI is by the owner of the original foreign newspaper whose facsimile edition is proposed to be brought out in India. The policy also specifies that, the publication can be undertaken only by an entity incorporated or registered in India under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956. Also, the publication would be subject to the Guidelines for publication of newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs and publication of facsimile edition of foreign newspapers issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on March 31, 2006, as amended from time to time.

The policy for foreign investment in publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs includes, up to 26% of foreign investment, inclusive of FDI and investment by NRI/ PIOs/ FII; ‘magazine’, for these guidelines shall be defined as a periodical publication, brought out on a non- daily basis, containing public news or comments on public news; foreign investment shall be subject to the Guidelines for Publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on December 4, 2008.

The following is a brief chronology of the governmental policy on FDI in print media

  • 1955: Cabinet committee bars foreign investment in print.

  • 1994: A ministerial review wants the restriction revoked. Review never came up before Parliament.

  • 1999: FEMA Bill cleared by Parliament, replaces FERA.

  • May 2000: RBI issues FEMA regulations, prohibiting automatic FDI in 13 sectors including print media, but imposing no restrictions on foreign portfolio investments.

  • October & November 2000: Mid-Day Multimedia seeks and gets RBI approvals under these regulations for issuing shares to FIIs and NRIs from its IPO.

  • Feb 11, 2001: A newspaper raises questions about the IPO possibly violating policy barring foreign investment in print.

  • Feb 12-15, 2001: Mid-Day decides voluntarily not to accept FII bids.

  • Feb 16, 2001: Government gets RBI to amend the regulations, barring foreign portfolio investment in print.

  • June 25, 2002: BJP-led NDA decides to allow 26 per cent foreign direct investment in the news and current affairs segment in the Indian media and 74 per cent in the non-news, non-current affairs segment

  • June 2, 2005: The cap of 74 per cent in non-news non-current affairs segment raised to 100%
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