No unanimity on hiking FDI in print media: Ambika Soni

New Delhi: The government Tuesday said there was no unanimity on hiking foreign direct investment (FDI) in the print media from the existing 26 percent and stressed that its current policy has benefited the domestic newspaper industry.

“There is no unanimity over increasing the FDI quotient in print media… the debate in this regard has not been conclusive,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

She outlined key features of the government’s print media policy, saying foreign newspapers were not being allowed to bring out Indian editions.

A foreign publishing house which owns a foreign newspaper has also been allowed to bring out the facsimile edition of the paper through its wholly-owned Indian subsidiary, she said.

“Although the facsimile editions of foreign newspapers are allowed, they are not allowed to carry advertisements in any form aimed at Indian subscribers,” Soni added.

These and other measures such as limiting the FDI in the news and current affairs sector of the print media has benefited the domestic newspaper industry, she said.

According to the existing policy for FDI in print media, foreign investment up to 26 percent of the capital is allowed to the Indian companies publishing newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs.

FDI up to 100 percent is allowed in Indian companies publishing speciality magazines, scientific, technical and other journals.

The minister added that the government was making all efforts to ensure that Urdu and regional language newspapers were given more advertisements through the Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP).

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