The government said that news aggregators, news agencies that supply information to digital media firms and companies uploading news and current affairs on web portals would have to adhere to the 26 per cent FDI cap. They would be required to "align their FDI to the 26 per cent level with the approval of the central government within one year from date of issue of this clarification", the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) said.
The Cabinet had in August last year approved 26 per cent FDI under government route for uploading, streaming of news and current affairs through digital media -- same as for print media. However, a host of industry players and experts sought clarifications on certain concerns pertaining to the FDI cap.
"After due consultations, it is clarified (that) the decision of permitting 26 per cent FDI through government route would apply" to certain "categories of Indian entities, registered or located in India," it said.
The categories are the decision would apply to are: entities uploading/ streaming news and current affairs on websites, apps, other platforms; news agencies which gathers, writes and distributes/transmits news, directly or indirectly, to digital media entities and/ or news aggregators; news aggregators which, using software / web applications, aggregates news content from various sources, such as news websites, blogs, podcasts, video blogs, in one location.
It also said that the compliance with the FDI policy would be the responsibility of the investee company. The company would also have to adhere to certain conditions such as the majority directors on the board of the firm shall be Indian citizens; the chief executive officer shall be an Indian.
"The entity shall be required to obtain security clearance of all foreign personnel likely to be deployed for more than 60 days in a year by way of appointment, contract or consultancy or in any other capacity for functioning of the entity prior to their deployment," it said.
It added that in the event of security clearance of any of the foreign personnel being denied or withdrawn for any reasons whatsoever, the investee firm will ensure that the concerned person resigns or his/her services are terminated forthwith after receiving such directives from the government.