The government has decided to reconsider lifting the ban on foreign direct investment (FDI) in the print media. The members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology, which had advised against change in current policy are upset.
According to sources, Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that the proposal was under I&B ministry’s consideration.
The announcement has come as a shock as this come at a time when the government was outraged by a “scurrilous” Time magazine report on Prime Minister A B Vajpayee.
At the same time the members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology are upset about the fact the government has chosen to disregard the majority view put forward by the committee that the time was not ripe to overturn the 1955 Cabinet decision against FDI or foreign ownership of newspapers and magazines.
Major leaders from various parties, including CPI-M leader Somnath Chatterjee, who headed the committee, demanded the issue to be discussed in Parliament.