Information and broadcasting ministry is willing to take a fresh look at the issue of allowing investment by FII, NRIs and OCBs in the print media, provided the ownership and editorial control remain with Indians.
Information and broadcasting minister, Sushma Swaraj, said that the ministry, has received a new proposal which gives a fresh angle to the issue of foreign investment in print media.
The standing committee on communications headed by CPM member Somnath Chatterjee is slated to meet shortly to discuss the issue. The move follows a controversy earlier this year, involving Mid-Day Multimedia, which offered shares to FIIs as a part of its Rs 50 crore initial public offer. RBI had allowed Mid-Day to offer the shares under a provision of the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
However, following pressure from the information and broadcasting ministry, RBI amended the provision, revoking its earlier order.
The I&B ministry’s contention at that time was that a Cabinet resolution of 1955 banned any foreign ownership of print medium products as also investments in the same.