Information and broadcasting (I&B) minister Sushma Swaraj said the ministry had rejected the N K Singh Committee’s recommendations on foreign direct investment (FDI) relating to the direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting services. The committee had recommended hiking the FDI limit in DTH to 49 per cent from 20 per cent as permitted by the existing policy.
The I&B ministry was of the view that the Indian media sector has undergone considerable level of FDI liberalisation and the next round of relaxation would require more time.
The Minister also said that the government is currently considering applications by two companies, Space TV and ASC Enterprises to set up DTH operations in the country. The ministry is in the process of finalising the guidelines regarding permitting FDI in news and current affairs print media.
The minister has also said that the ministry has rejected the proposals by the Geetakrishnan Committee, which had asked to shut down various divisions of the ministry and reduction of manpower.
Instead, the ministry is merging and clubbing various divisions. The ministry is of the view that this is the best way to utlise the resource available.
The minister also said that she expects the Rajya Sabha to clear the Conditional Access Systems (CAS) bill in the coming session of the Parliament.