After having categorically
rejected the entry of foreign print media, the
government is now trying to evolve a consensus on the
issue of investment by FIIs and NRIs in the Indian
publishing industry, Information and Broadcasting
Minister, Sushma Swaraj said in a meeting
yesterday. She was awaiting responses of the
standing committee on communications and the law
ministry to which the matter has been referred.
The minister said that she had a
meeting with the five editors, who had written to her
suggesting that allowing investment by institutional
investors, non-resident Indians and overseas corporate
bodies in the print media would not go against the
1955 Cabinet resolution which had barred foreign
ownership and editorial control.
The minister had asked the
editors -- Narendra Mohan, Aroon Puri, Chandan Mitra,
Shekhar Gupta and T.N. Ninan -- to try to build a
consensus in the industry as well.
In the letter, the editors had
suggested that such investments would have an entirely
beneficial effect of strengthening the Indian media
and should be considered separately from the foreign
print media question so that "unrelated issues are not
brought in the policy debate on this limited issue."
The editors stressed that the
investment in print media by Indian companies having
minority foreign holdings or FIIs or NRIs did not
dilute Indian control of the media in any way, and
further certainly does not bring in foreign media.