Centre asks digital media entities to bring down FDI to 26% by Oct next year

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The ministry has laid out the detailed actions to be undertaken by eligible entities to comply with this decision, within a month

Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has on Monday issued a public notice to facilitate eligible entities involved in uploading or streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, to comply with the decision of Union government on September 18, 2019, which had permitted 26 percent FDI under government approval route.

In a public notice, available on its website, the ministry has laid out the detailed actions to be undertaken by eligible entities to comply with this decision, within a month.

Entities that have foreign investment below 26 percent may furnish intimation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month from Monday giving the details of the company or entity and its shareholding pattern along with the names and addresses of its directors and shareholders.

The government said that entities which, at present, have an equity structure with foreign investment exceeding 26 percent would give details to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting within one month and to take necessary steps for bringing down the  foreign investment to 26 percent by October 15, 2021 and seek approval of the ministry.

Any entity which intends to bring fresh foreign investment in the country has to seek prior approval of the Central government, through the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal of DPIIT.

"Every entity has to comply with the requirements of citizenship of the Board of Directors and chief executive officers. The entities are required to obtain security clearance for all foreign personnel likely to be deployed for more than 60 days in a year by way of appointment, contract or consultancy or any other capacity for the functioning of the entity, prior to their deployment," the government's notification added.

In August last year, the Union Cabinet approved 26 per cent FDI under government route for uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, on the lines of print media and TV news. There was no FDI policy for the "news digital media sector" earlier. The FDI in print media is capped at 26 percent, and that in TV news is 49 percent.

Image credit: Telegraph India

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