In response to the draft consultation paper of the Ministry of Finance on FDI caps in the print and broadcasting sectors, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) has sought the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on issues related to the broadcasting sector and has sought the comments of the Press Council of India (PCI) on matters concerning print media.
As the process of consultations with both TRAI and PCI would take time, MIB has communicated to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) that the existing limits of FDI caps and entry routes in the print and broadcasting sectors may continue and status quo in the interim be maintained as prescribed in the consolidated FDI Policy 2013.
Earlier, on receipt of the draft consultation paper on FDI caps, the Ministry undertook comprehensive consultations with stakeholders in the print and broadcasting sectors to elicit their views on the issues concerned. During the consultations, divergent views emerged, leading to the issues remaining inconclusive. It may be pointed out that while the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has sought additional time to give its comments, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has not furnished its comments till date. In view of the given position, the Ministry has felt that the matter be referred to TRAI and PCI for seeking their comments.
It may be recalled that on September 20, 2012, the foreign direct investment limits in various segments of the broadcasting sector were revised based on TRAI’s recommendations. TRAI had gone through the due process of consultations with stakeholders before it made its recommendations.