New Delhi : The government’s decision to increase foreign investment cap in news channels to 49 per cent will help infuse capital in the News Broadcasting sector.
As per the recent changes made in the FDI policy, foreign investment cap has been increased to 100 per cent from 74 per cent in teleports, direct to home, cable networks, mobile TV and Headend-in-the Sky broadcasting service (HITS).
Up to 49 per cent FDI was permitted through automatic route and beyond that limit through government approval route.
Further in terrestrial broadcasting FM (FM Radio) and up-linking of news and government route current affairs’ TV channels, the cap has been increased to 49 per cent from 26 per cent through government approval route.
In up-linking of non-news and current affairs’ TV channels and down-linking of TV channels, 100 per cent foreign investment is permitted now through automatic route, the Commerce and Industry Ministry said in a statement.
The hike in the caps in the broadcasting sector is part of the exercise to relax norms in as many as 15 sector.
“To further boost this entire investment environment and to bring in foreign investments in the country, the government has brought in FDI related reforms and liberalisation touching upon 15 major sectors of the economy,” it said.
“The crux of these reforms is to further ease, rationalise and simplify the process of foreign investments in the country and to put more and more FDI proposals on automatic route instead of Government route where time and energy of the investors is wasted,” it said.
It is one more proof of minimum government and maximum governance, it added.
With this round of reforms, it said the government has demonstrated that India is unstoppable on the path of economic development.
“Along with these sectoral reforms, the DIPP has also been advised to consolidate all FDI related instructions contained in various notifications and press notes and prepare a booklet so that the investors do not have to refer to several documents of different timeframes,” it said.
This exercise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is intended on the one hand to further open up the sectors for more foreign investments in the country and also to make it easy to invest in India.
“In the normal course, the policy corrections in 16 areas would have taken at least one year to process and get approvals. Thus, this action is a very dynamic step in terms of integrating the Indian economy with the rest of the world for attracting investments and technology and generating employment for enhancement of income of the people of India,” it said.
The development is seen as a big boost for the cash strapped news broadcasting sector which is looking to invest on improving the quality of Journalism and upgrading the technology.
The Regional News Broadcasters, who are the worst affected due to the heavy competition and low ad revenues and fragmenting viewership are expected to see some consolidation with Merger & Acquisitions deals (M&A) happening with national and International broadcasting giants.