The group of ministers (GoM) on print medium in its first meeting here today discussed the safeguards required in the existing print media sector norms.
Some of the key issues discussed were amendments to the Press and Registration of Books (PRB) Act, 1867, and norms to ensure stricter compliance with the present foreign direct investment norms.
The GoM also discussed the present FDI cap of 26 per cent in news and current affairs publications and the 74 per cent FDI cap in non-news, scientific, technical and specialty magazines.
The GoM, headed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil, also discussed the current ceiling on syndicated material in Indian publications, senior government officials said. No Indian publication can have more than 7.5 per cent of syndicated content under automatic clearance.
The GoM was set up after the Hyderabad-based Midram Publications printed International Herald Tribune in India by registering it as an Indian publication. The issue was discussed at today's meeting as were steps to check such events in future.
The GoM was attended by Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister HR Bharadwaj, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal and Communications and IT Minister Dayanidhi Maran.
The decision to allow FDI in print media was taken by the Vajpayee government in 2002. And till date FDI in two newspapers, 17 Indian editions of foreign non-news and non-current affairs magazines and 13 foreign investments by international publications in various Indian non-news and current affairs publications have been cleared by the government.