The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has issued a notice regarding Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to all entities which are involved in uploading or streaming news and current affairs through digital media.
In the notification, the ministry has asked the news aggregators and news agencies, which supply information to digital media firms and companies uploading news and current affairs on websites to comply with the decision of Union Government's on September 18, 2019, permitting 26 per cent FDI under the government approval route.
As per the Centre's notification, entities that have foreign investment below 26 per cent will have to share the company's details, name, and address of promoters and significant beneficial owners, past and existing foreign investment, and downstream investment to the IB ministry by December 16.
And, if an entity has more than 26 per cent FDI, the company will have to share the details with the IB ministry in one month from now, and take necessary steps to bring it down to 26 per cent by October 15, 2021.
Any entity that intends to bring fresh foreign investment will have to seek approval of the government first via Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal of the DPIIT.
"Every entity has to comply with the requirements of citizenship of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officers. 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," the government's notification added.
In August last year, the Union Cabinet approved 26 per cent FDI under government route for uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, on the lines of print media and TV news. There was no FDI policy for the "news digital media sector" earlier. The FDI in print media is capped at 26 per cent, and that in TV news is 49 per cent.
(Edited by: Mansi Jaswal)