In a bid to boost the economic growth, the government has announced a series of changes in its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy. The FDI regime has been radically liberalized for a large number of sectors including pharmaceuticals, civil aviation and broadcast technology such as DTH, cable and mobile television. Majority of them will be now open to 100% FDI as long as the requisite government approvals are in place. With these changes the government claims that India is now the most open economy in the world for FDI.
Some highlights of the new measures include; increase in sectoral caps, bringing more activities under automatic route and easing of conditionalities for foreign investment. These amendments seek to further simplify the regulations governing FDI in the country and make India an attractive destination for foreign investors.
In the broadcast sector, FDI relaxation will be allowed across DTH, teleports, Multi-system operators operating at national, state and district, mobile television, Headend-in-the Sky Broadcasting Service(HITS) and cable networks. However, the infusion of fresh foreign investment, beyond 49% in a company not seeking license/permission from sectoral ministry, resulting in change in the ownership pattern or transfer of stake by existing investor to new foreign investor, will require FIPB approval.’
This is the second major reform after the last radical changes announced in November 2015. Earlier 100% FDI was allowed in DTH and cable networks, the cap for FDI for uplinking news and current affairs channels was increased to 49% from the previous 26%.