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TRAI puts out consultation paper on FDI in broadcast sector

The paper discusses the revision of FDI limits and the approval route for FDI in carriage services (Cable TV, DTH, HITS, IPTV, teleports, etc.), content services (uplinking and downlinking of News channels), and FM radio. Says, FDI limit for news & current affairs channels and FM Radio may be increased from 26% to 49% through the FIPB route

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | July 31, 2013

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) yesterday released a consultation paper on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limits in various segments of the broadcasting sector in India.

The Authority has, from time to time, given its recommendations on the subject of FDI in various segments of the broadcasting sector, either suo motu or on request of the government. The last recommendations were given by the Authority on June 3, 2011. In line with these recommendations of TRAI, the FDI limits and its approval route for various segments of the broadcasting sector were revised by the government on September 20, 2012.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has sent a reference dated July 12, 2013 to the Authority, indicating that the government is re-examining the current FDI policy and liberalising the limits/caps with a view to easing FDI inflow. In this context, MIB has requested the Authority to examine the FDI limits of various segments in the broadcasting sector and to furnish its recommendations.

As part of the consultative process, a consultation paper has been uploaded on the TRAI website seeking comments/view of the stakeholders. The Authority has, while formulating this consultation paper, taken into account the growing convergence between the broadcast and telecom sectors, and has been broadly guided by the principles of ensuring a level playing field between competing technologies and maintaining consistency in policy across sectors. The consultation paper discusses the revision of FDI limits as well as the approval route for the FDI in carriage services (Cable TV, DTH, HITS, IPTV, Teleports, etc.), content services (Uplinking and Downlinking of News channels), and the FM radio sector. Among many suggestions made in the consultation paper, TRAI suggested that FDI limit for news & current affairs channels and FM Radio might be increased from 26% to 49% through the FIPB route.

Click here to read the consultation paper.

The stakeholders have been requested to offer their views/comments latest by August 12, 2013. The comments may be sent, preferably in electronic form, to Wasi Ahmad, Advisor (B&CS), Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, Mahanagar Doorsanchar Bhawan, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, New Delhi – 110002 (Tel No. 011-23237922, Fax No. 011-23220442) on the e-mail address advbcs@trai.gov.in or traicable@yahoo.co.in. Comments received will be posted on the website.

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