Guidelines issued for FDI in non-news publications

NEW DELHI NOV. 13. Over four months after the Government decided to allow up to 74 per cent foreign investment in non-news and non-current affairs publications, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry today issued guidelines for their publication on a case-to-case basis.

Though the Government had simultaneously opened up the news segment, it could take another month before guidelines for news and current affairs publications are framed.

As per the `Guidelines for Publication of Indian Editions of Foreign Technical/Scientific/ Speciality Magazines/Journals/Periodicals; and Foreign Investment in Indian Entities Publishing Scientific/Technical/Speciality Magazines/Journals/Periodicals', applications should be made to the I&B Ministry.

The Ministry will process applications after inter-ministerial consultations to decide whether the proposed publication is covered under the category specified. Representatives of Ministries concerned/specialist organisations and language experts will be involved in this.

Approval will be subject to compliance with the provisions of the Press and Registration of Books Act and Rules. Determination of category assigned will be open to review by the Ministry if the contents of the publication undergo a change later.

In cases where both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Foreign Institutional Investment is envisaged, the applicant can approach the Foreign Investment Promotion Board/Reserve Bank for clearance after obtaining the no-objection certificate from the Ministry.

In cases involving only portfolio investment, the applicant can approach the RBI for further clearance (if any) after obtaining the NOC. Also, the Ministry will keep the Secretariat for Industrial Assistance and the RBI informed of the FDI projected by the company and the balance permissible foreign investment on the portfolio investment route.

Foreign participation/investment in print media was allowed on June 25 this year after a prolonged debate within political and media circles on opening up this segment which till then had been governed by the Cabinet Resolution of 1955. While the Government decided to allow 26 per cent FDI in news and current affairs publications, non-news and non-current affairs publications were allowed greater foreign participation with the foreign investment ceiling pegged at 74 per cent.

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