FDI cap on newspapers, periodicals not to be raised

The union government has decided not to raise the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit on newspapers and periodicals in India to 49 per cent from 26 the current per cent.

Currently, the FDI policy permits 26 per cent foreign direct investment in publishing of newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs via the approval route. The issue of relaxing FDI policy in print media has been pending for long.

The Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) had recently asked the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) to have a look at the proposal. In a communication to DEA, the DIPP said a "considered view" was taken against increasing the FDI cap in print media sector, reports said.

The issue of relaxing the FDI cap in print media came up for discussions last November as well as during the recent liberalisation of the norms in June and both times it was decided not to tweak the caps.

Recently, the government relaxed FDI norms in about eight sectors, including civil aviation, defence, private security agencies, pharmaceuticals and food processing industry. The move was aimed at attracting more foreign funds.

During 2015-16, FDI into the country increased by 29 per cent to $40 billion from $30.93 billion in the previous financial year.