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I&B Ministry seeks views of TRAI and Press Council on revised FDI caps

For the time being, the status quo would be maintained as prescribed in the consolidated FDI Policy 2013

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 16, 2013

In response to the draft consultation paper of the Ministry of Finance on FDI caps in the Print and Broadcasting sector, the Information & Broadcasting Ministry has sought the recommendations of TRAI for issues related to the Broadcasting sector and has sought comments from the Press Council of India (PCI) for matters concerning the Print media.

As the process of consultations with both TRAI and PCI would take time, the I&B Ministry has communicated to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) that the existing limits of FDI caps and entry routes in the Print and Broadcasting sectors may continue and status quo in the interim be maintained as prescribed in the consolidated FDI Policy 2013.

Earlier, on receipt of the draft consultation paper on FDI caps, the ministry undertook comprehensive consultations with stakeholders in the Print and Broadcasting sectors to elicit their views on the issues concerned. During the consultations, divergent views emerged leading to the issues remaining inconclusive.

It may be pointed out that while the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has sought additional time to give their comments, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has not furnished its comments till date. In view of the given position, the ministry has felt that the matter be referred to TRAI and PCI for seeking their comments.

It may also be pointed out that TRAI being the regulator for Broadcasting and Cable services needs to be consulted as in the past on account of the likely impact the proposal is expected to have on the Broadcasting sector as a whole. On September 20, 2012, the foreign investment limits of various segments in broadcasting sector were revised based on TRAI’s recommendations. TRAI had gone through the due process of consultations with the stakeholders before it made its recommendations.

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