The Government has categorically stated that the 20 per cent equity cap on broadcasting companies in direct-to-home (DTH) ventures is sectoral cap and not company-specific.
This means that even if a number of broadcasting companies join hands together to form a DTH venture, they can together hold only 20 per cent, with foreign investment and non-broadcasting firms holding the balance. As per the DTH policy, the total foreign equity in the venture would be 49 per cent and within this, the limit on the foreign direct investments is stipulated at 20 per cent.
The remaining foreign holding of 20 per cent can be held by non-resident Indians (NRIs), overseas corporate bodies (OCBs) and foreign institutional investors (FIIs).
The Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj made the clarification regarding the equity of broadcasters in DTH in the wake of confusion in some quarters as to whether companies can individually hold 20 per cent equity.