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FDI cap in DTH ventures may be hiked from 20%

22-September-2005
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FDI cap in DTH ventures may be hiked from 20%

Currently total foreign investment in DTH firms is capped at 49%, of which FDI is max 20%.

The government is likely to raise the ceiling on foreign direct investment, now at 20 per cent, for direct-to-home ventures.

The current policy permits a total foreign investment of 49 per cent in DTH companies, of which FDI can only be up to 20 per cent. The rest can be held by non-resident Indians, overseas corporate bodies and foreign institutional investors.

The government may also relax the restrictions on cross-media holdings in DTH ventures. The current norms cap the holdings of a broadcaster or a cable television company in a DTH venture at 20 per cent.

“We will have to take a decision keeping in view the requirements of the sector. We are contemplating certain changes in the long-term,” Information and Broadcasting Minister S Jaipal Reddy said here today.

The broadcasting industry has been pressing for changes in the FDI norms for DTH companies to attract higher investments into the sector.

Regarding the broadcasting policy, Reddy said a group of ministers, set up for the purpose, had given its recommendations to the Cabinet, which would take a final view on the uplinking and downlinking norms.

Regarding the mandatory sharing of content by private broadcasters with state-run Prasar Bharati, he said certain events would have to be shared with retrospective effect, while for others, it would be only with prospective effect.

Ministry officials said this was being done because the GoM was divided on the issue and that a comprehensive view could not be taken on it.

While a certain section of the GoM favours sharing of content only with prospective effect, others, including Reddy, favour sharing of broadcasting rights acquired even in the past.

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The current policy permits a total foreign investment of 49 % in DTH companies, of which FDI can only be up to 20 per cent.

The rest can be held by non-resident Indians, overseas corporate bodies and foreign institutional investors.

The government may also relax the restrictions on cross-media holdings in DTH ventures

The broadcasting industry has been pressing for changes in the FDI norms for DTH companies to attract higher investments

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