The government announced an increase in the FDI limit (foreign direct investment) of news and current affair channels, DTH and Cable Operators. The government announced that foreign investment will be relaxed in 15 sectors. While 100% FDI has been allowed in DTH and Cable Networks (MSOs and LCOs), the foreign investment in the uplinking of news and current affairs TV channels has been raised to 49% from 26% earlier.
Commenting on the move, Kartikeya Sharma, MD, ITV Network said, “I welcome this move from the government and appreciate this. The industry is going through a tough phase and this move will definitely help in operating in media space.”
Sharma also praised the automatic route that has been initiated by the government. “It’ll help in the entire domain such as news, non news, radio or DTH. He said, it is the right step in right direction, they should have done it long time ago but now they have done it and I am happy,” he added.
Punit Goenka, MD and CEO of ZEEL said, “As long as the control lies with the Indian counterpart and the editors are of Indian nationality there is no problem. It’ll help in funding as well. Goenka also highlighted one important point why government has not cleared FDI in print. I don’t understand why are they distinguishing between print and broadcasting and not treating both at par.”
The government has also raised the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB)’s monetary limit to Rs.5,000 crore from Rs.3,000 crore for the approving of FDI proposals.