The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Wednesday recommended that the foreign investment limit for broadcast carriage services such as DTH, IPTV, Mobile TV, HITS, Teleport and MSOs, which are upgrading to digital and addressable environment, may be raised to 74 per cent. The existing limit for most of these services is 49 per cent.

It also said the foreign investment limit for local cable operators, news and current affairs TV channels and FM radio be fixed at 26 per cent, while there should be no restriction on FDI for uplinking and downlinking of TV channels other than news and current affairs TV channels.

TRAI also recommended that all foreign investment less than 26 per cent would be through the automatic route, while investments of 26 per cent and above will require prior approval of the government.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had requested TRAI to review its recommendations dated April 26, 2008, on foreign investment in the broadcasting sector in the light of recent changes in FDI policy. The Consolidated FDI Policy dated March 31, 2010, issued by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has come into effect since April 1, 2010. This policy has modified the methodology of calculation of foreign investment in Indian companies.