Indian Government Reviews Policy for Foreign Publications

The Union Cabinet of India on Thursday gave its approval to review the Print Media policy by allowing publication of India editions of Foreign magazines publishing news and comments on public news i.e. periodicals falling in the news and current affairs category. Publishers of such editions would continue to be eligible for attracting 26% foreign investment.

Permission to publish such editions would be granted only to those Indian companies which are registered under the Indian Companies Act, 1956 . The Indian companies would be allowed to enter into financial arrangements ( such as royalty payment arrangements, etc.) with the owners of the foreign magazines. Permission would be conditional on at least 3/4th of the Directors on the Board of Directors of the Applicant Indian Company and all key executives and editorial staff being resident Indians. The title of the magazine should be got verified and subsequently registered by the Indian company from the Registrar of Newspapers for India,” a government spokesperson said.

The decision will provide Indian readers access to foreign magazines at cheaper rates in comparison to the same magazines imported at much higher rates. The Indian reader would be benefitted immensely as he/she would be able to keep abreast with the latest events and happenings on the global scale.

Notwithstanding the relaxation , the government has also forced a circulation and originity conditions. Indian editions of only those magazines will be allowed which are being published in the country of their origin.

“The content would be allowed to be up to 100% identical to the foreign magazine concerned and the India publisher would be free to add local content. The Indian publisher would also be free to insert local advertisements. Permission would be granted for publication of only such magazines which are being published in the country of their origin. In addition, they should have been published continuously for a period of at least 5 years, and the publication must have a circulation of at least 10,000 paid copies for the last financial year in the country of its origin,” the spokesperson said.

The publishers hope that the FDI limit in print media will also be increased from the present 26 % to 50 %. Foreign publications like the Vogue, People, Newsweek, Time, Child and Maxim have already entered Indian market and magazines like Fortune are waiting for the right time to enter the hottest market for magaizne segment. Indian magazine publishing market is expected to grow to Rs 3800 crore in 2012 from the current size of Rs 1900 crore.

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