The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has once again asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to expedite its comments regarding foreign direct investment (FDI) in the broadcasting sector.
In its communication to TRAI, MIB has sought comments regarding the paper prepared by the Ministry of Finance relating to revision in existing FDI caps in the broadcasting sector. The paper had been forwarded to TRAI seeking its recommendations under Section 11(1)(a)(ii) & (iv) of the TRAI Act, 1997, which pertains to the terms and conditions of license to a service provider and measures to facilitate competition and promote efficiency in the operation of telecommunication services to facilitate growth in such services.
In a similar separate communication, the Ministry has requested Press Council of India (PCI) to expedite its advice on the existing sectoral caps of FDI in print media, under Section 13 of PCI Act, 1978. The advice has been sought in view of the communication received from the Ministry of Finance, which aims to review policy of sectoral caps of FDI in print media. Section 13 authorises PCI to express its opinion in regard to any matter referred to it by the Central Government.
The paper proposes to raise the existing FDI cap of 26 per cent, which is through FIPB route, to 49 per cent through the automatic route in the news sector. In the non-news sector, the existing FDI cap is 100 per cent through the FIPB route, which has been proposed to be brought up to 100 per cent through the automatic route as well without the requirement of FIPB’s approval.