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Uplink norms for news channels set to be revised soon

15-October-2004
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Uplink norms for news channels set to be revised soon

Guidelines for uplinking of news and current affairs TV channels from India are expected to be revised soon, according to finance minister P Chaidambaram.

The cabinet on Wednesday gave ex-post-facto approval for extension of the deadline for adhering to the prescribed guidelines/eligibility criteria up to October 31.

Some news channels, which have foreign institutional investment (FII), had sought revision of uplinking guidelines. As per current norms, a news channel is permitted to have up to 26 per cent of foreign direct investment, but no FII. Government had indicated earlier that relaxation of norms was likely. October 31 is the deadline by which all news channels must conform to the guidelines.

“The extension of the deadline will give time to the ministry to examine various issues related to the revised eligibility criteria for uplinking of news and current affairs TV channels from India,” Mr Chidambaram told newspersons, according to agencies. He said the proposals seeking amendments in the uplink guidelines are being processed. Other ministries are also being consulted for the same. The recomemndations will be submitted to the cabinet shortly, it is learnt.

March last year, the government had approved foreign ownership/management control restrictions on news channels for uplinking from India. The guidelines were further revised in August last.

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