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Govt trying to evolve consensus on investment by FIIs

07-July-2001
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Govt trying to evolve consensus on investment by FIIs

After having categorically rejected the entry of foreign print media, the government is now trying to evolve a consensus on the issue of investment by FIIs and NRIs in the Indian publishing industry, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Sushma Swaraj said in a meeting yesterday. She was awaiting responses of the standing committee on communications and the law ministry to which the matter has been referred.

The minister said that she had a meeting with the five editors, who had written to her suggesting that allowing investment by institutional investors, non-resident Indians and overseas corporate bodies in the print media would not go against the 1955 Cabinet resolution which had barred foreign ownership and editorial control.

The minister had asked the editors -- Narendra Mohan, Aroon Puri, Chandan Mitra, Shekhar Gupta and T.N. Ninan -- to try to build a consensus in the industry as well.

In the letter, the editors had suggested that such investments would have an entirely beneficial effect of strengthening the Indian media and should be considered separately from the foreign print media question so that "unrelated issues are not brought in the policy debate on this limited issue."

The editors stressed that the investment in print media by Indian companies having minority foreign holdings or FIIs or NRIs did not dilute Indian control of the media in any way, and further certainly does not bring in foreign media.

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