I&B ministry seeks views of TRAI, Press Council on media sector FDI

The information and broadcasting ministry has decided to continue the current status quo in the consolidated foreign direct investment (FDI) policy in relation to the media sector, including both print and electronic.

Responding to a draft consultation paper of the finance ministry on FDI caps in the print and broadcasting segments, the I&B ministry said it has sought the recommendations of TRAI for issues related to the broadcasting industry and has sought the comments of the Press Council of India for matters concerning the print media.

The ministry has since informed the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotions that since the process of consultations with both TRAI and PCI would take time, status quo on the and current FDI limits may be maintained.

Earlier, in response to a draft consultation paper on FDI caps issued to stakeholders in the print and broadcasting segments, divergent views emerged leading to the issues remaining inconclusive, the ministry said.

While the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has sought additional time to give its comments, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), has not furnished their comments till date.

In view of the given position, the ministry has felt that the matter be referred to TRAI and PCI for seeking their comments.

TRAI being the regulator for the broadcasting and cable services needs to be consulted on account of the likely impact of the proposal is expected to have on the broadcasting sector as a whole.

The foreign investment limits of various segments in the broadcasting sector were earlier revised on 20 September 2012 on the basis of TRAI's recommendations.

TRAI had gone through the due process of consultations with the stakeholders before it made its recommendations.