The parliamentary committee is working on an alternate draft, which is likely to include a proposal for allowing 26 per cent foreign equity strictly under Indian editorial control. The new draft will be placed before the standing committee on information technology along with the earlier one, which had totally rejected entry of foreign equity in print media.
The standing committee, which is headed by Somnath Chatterjee, in an earlier draft report had ruled out allowing foreign investment in news and current affairs publications. On non-news and non-current affairs publications, a case-by-case approach was recommended. But, there were many dissenters to this view within the committee.
At a meeting of the committee yesterday, which was attended by 15 of the 46 members under chairmanship of Somnath Chatterjee, most members favoured allowing foreign equity with a 26 per cent cap and strict regulations including Indian editorial control.
According to Mr. Chatterjee, the matter is still "undecided". The committee, which was to table its report in the Winter Session of Parliament, will now meet after the Budget Session of Parliament begins next month.
With foreign investment allowed in TV broadcasting and Internet, there was a case for reviewing the ban on foreign investment in print media, which the committee took up suo moto.