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Panel defers decision on FDI in print media

20-November-2001
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Panel defers decision on FDI in print media

The Parliamentary Committee on Information Technology has deferred a decision on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the print media after the BJP Rajya Sabha member, Mr. Narendra Mohan, circulated a note contradicting the draft note. The draft note had opposed allowing foreign equity in the print sector.

The Standing Committee was to take a final decision on Monday, but it would now meet again next week and continue with the deliberations.

The draft report had opposed the entry of foreign investment in the print media, as this would ``not be in the long-term interests of the country.''

The views of the various ministries as well as members of the committee have also been very divergent, making it difficult for arriving at a consensus. The nodal Ministry, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, is of the view that post-1955, there has been a drastic change in the overall scenario, with foreign periodicals and books being freely imported.

Also, with foreign newspapers and magazines available on the Internet, people have access to information, hence, the decision to review the media policy.

The Ministry had also received representations from some media houses seeking a relook at the law. The Law Ministry has, on the other hand, said that a foreign investor with minority shareholding could gain both management and editorial control through the shareholders' agreements or other loan agreements.

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