Digital media outlets must bring down FDI to 26 pc by Oct 2021: Centre


New Delhi: The central government on Monday asked digital news media outlets to comply with conditions that make them eligible for 26 percent FDI (foreign direct investment) approved by the Union Cabinet last year.

“Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has today issued a public notice to facilitate eligible entities involved in uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, to comply with the decision of Union Government on September 18, 2019, which had permitted 26 percent FDI under Government approval route,” the ministry said in a release.

The Ministry has laid out the detailed actions to be undertaken by eligible entities to comply with this decision, within a month. To enable eligible entities to comply with the government decision, they are required to take certain steps, the ministry said.

“Entities with FDI below 26 percent have to intimate the ministry within the next month, with details of the shareholding pattern, names of directors and promoters, confirmation with regard to compliance with pricing, documentation and reporting requirements under the FDI policy, and Foreign Exchange Management (Mode of Payment and Reporting of Non-debt Instruments) Regulations, 2019 along with copies of relevant reporting forms in support of the past/existing foreign investment and downstream investment(s), Permanent Account Number, latest profit and loss balance sheets along with auditor report,” it said.

“Entities which, at present, have an equity structure with foreign investment exceeding 26 percent would give similar details to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month from today, and to take necessary steps for bringing down the foreign investment to 26 percent by October 15, 2021, and seek approval of the Ministry,” it added.

According to Ministry, any entity which intends to bring fresh foreign investment in the country has to seek prior approval of the Central Government, through the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal of DPIIT, as per the requirements of FDI Policy of Indian government and Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments)(Amendment) Rules, 2019.

Every entity has to comply with the requirements of citizenship of Board of Directors and of the Chief Executive Officers (by whatever name called), it said.

“The entities are required to obtain security clearance for all foreign personnel likely to be deployed for more than 60 days in a year by way of appointment, contract or consultancy or any other capacity for the functioning of the entity, prior to their deployment. For this purpose, the entities will apply to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at least 60 days in advance and the proposed foreign personnel shall be deployed by the entity only after prior approval of this Ministry,” it said. (ANI)