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Digital Media Outlets must bring down FDI to 26 % by Oct 2021; I&B Ministry asked Details by Dec 16, 2020

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Digital Media Outlets Must Bring Down FDI To 26%On November 16, 2020, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B) has issued a notice asking all eligible news websites, portals, aggregators and agencies which are uploading or streaming news and current affairs through digital media to comply with the 26% foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for digital news media. They need to share suitable details within one month i.e. by December 16, 2020.

  • This notification is issued on the lines of the Union Cabinet decision’s on September 18, 2019 which had permitted 26% FDI for digital news media under Government approval route.
  • Also, this decision will enable the government to check foreign influence and interference in domestic affairs.

As per the recent notice the Ministry of I&B laid out the following detailed actions to be undertaken by eligible entities to comply with this decision:

Digital Media Groups with less than 26% FDI: They need to submit complete details of the shareholding pattern, names and addresses of directors, shareholders and promoters to the Ministry of I&B.

  • They are also asked to submit a 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, within one month.

Digital Media Groups with more than 26% FDI: They also need to submit above mentioned requirements, within one month. Along with this, they need to take suitable steps to bring down the FDI to 26% in one year i.e. by 15th October, 2021 and seek approval of the Ministry of I&B.

Other Requirements:

–To bring fresh FDI in the country entities are mandated to take prior approval of the central government through the foreign investment facilitation portal of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).

  • This is mandated under the notifications of Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments)(Amendment) Rules, 2019 and FDI Policy.

–Also, for the deployment of foreign personnel for more than 60 days in a year, entities should obtain security clearance and prior approval from Ministry of I&B at least 60 days in advance.

–Every entity has to comply with the requirements of citizenship of the Board of Directors and of the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).

Recent Related News:

i.On 29th September 2020, Ministry of I&B announced the appointment of Renowned Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur (74 years) as the new President of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) Society, and Chairman of FTII Governing Council.

ii.On the occasion of International Day of the Girl Child 2020 i.e. on October 11, 2020, Ministry of I&B showcased select animation and documentary films on www.filmsdivision.org and https://www.youtube.com/user/FilmsDivision.

About Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (I&B):

Union Minister– Prakash Keshav Javadekar (Constituency- Maharashtra)

Secretary– Amit Khare