Mumbai: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has made public its recommendations on foreign investment limits for the broadcasting sector.
The recommendations also address the procedure for approval, and suggest that within the composite foreign investment limit of 74 per cent, wherever applicable for carriage services, foreign investments up to 49 per cent may be permitted under the automatic route. Beyond that level, an approval from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) would be needed, as prescribed for the telecom sector.
For content services, the recommendations suggest that the FIPB approval should be required for foreign investments.
The recommendations also have a proposal to standardise the methodology for calculation of foreign investments in different segments of broadcasting, suggesting that the methodology used in the telecom sector for calculation of foreign investments should be adopted for the broadcasting sector as well.
Foreign investments are an important source of funding for the growth and development of the sector, and for the infusion of new technology, international and best practices, and access to foreign markets. Conversely, limits to the amount of foreign investment are governed by concerns such as national security, protection of domestic industry, social and cultural issues,