A slew of print media firms have raised private equity funding; these include Jagran Prakashan which raised funds from Blackstone.
The information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry has asked Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as well as the Press Council of India (PCI) to expedite their views and recommendations on a proposal to raise existing FDI investment limit in the media sector.
The proposal seeks to increase the existing FDI limit of 26 per cent to 49 per cent in the news sector without the approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB). It also seeks to allow 100 per cent FDI in media firms operating in the non-news sector, without FIPB approval.
The advice has been sought in view of the communication the I&B ministry received from the finance ministry which aims to review policy of sectoral caps of FDI in print as well as broadcasting media.
This is the second time the I&B ministry has sent separate communications in this regard to TRAI and PCI, a statutory body in India that governs the conduct of the print media. TRAI is the regulatory body for both telecom and broadcasting sectors.
The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) has already given its green signal to increase FDI in print media but top media houses in the country oppose it to prevent foreign publications from entering the country.
A slew of print media firms have raised private equity funding; these include Jagran Prakashan (Blackstone) and DB Corp which published Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar (from Warburg Pincus which exited the firm a couple of years ago).
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)