Mumbai: In a clear departure from its earlier stand, the government today allowed advertisement-starved foreign magazines to come out with Indian editions with local and global content and own up to 26 per cent in joint ventures in India.
The move would help international news magazines like Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Fortune, BusinessWeek etc to publish Indian editions and own 26 per cent in joint ventures with their Indian partner.
The foreign magazines will also be able to bring out cheaper editions and source local advertisements. International magazines could so far only print and distribute their global editions in India with some local advertising.
For reproducing the magazines locally and to publish local news, companies have to get registered under the Indian Companies Act 1951.
Only foreign news magazines, not newspapers are allowed to reproduce or publish Indian editions.
Cheaper editions would allow the now costly magazines like Fortune, Time etc to corner an increasing share of the Rs9,000 crore print media advertisement market in India.
Indian publishers who currently bring out foreign magazines expect the government to raise the foreign direct investment limit from 26 per cent to 49 per cent.
Currently, Fortune is distributed in India by India Today while ABP is planning to print it while Network 18 is planning to print Forbes. Newsweek, distributed by Outlook Group, BusinessWeek and Economist, distributed by Bennett Coleman and Co are most likely to enter India with reproductions or Indian editions.
For setting up Indian operations, these publications will have to comply with the stipulations in the print media policy, which states that three-fourth of the directors on the board of these companies must be of Indian origin.
Also, the applicant company will have to appoint Indians as local editorial staff.
The magazine will have to be verified and registered by the Registrar of Newspapers in India and permission will be granted only if such magazines are being published in the country of their origin.
The magazines concerned ''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" to be eligible for an Indian edition.