Television

FDI guidelines on news channels expected any time now

NEW DELHI: Star and the likes can breathe a bit easy as finally the Almighty may be smiling.

Though the Indian government may have taken its own time to take a stand on the issue of foreign direct investment (FDI) in news channels desirous of uplinking from India, it is acting with speed where issuance of guidelines for the policy decision is concerned.

The information and broadcasting ministry is understood to be working overtime to finalise the guidelines that are expected, according to I&B ministry sources, before the week is out.

"If everything goes well, the guidelines may be notified either late today or tomorrow," a ministry official said, refusing to give any more details.

According to information available with indiantelevision.com, senior bureaucrats in the I&B ministry have been huddled in meetings since Tuesday's cabinet decision. The ministry's top bureaucrat, the secretary, also was said to be in a meeting with minister Ravi Shankar Prasad around the time the India-Kenya cricket semi-final match was to begin (5:30 pm).

The ministry seems to have done its homework well. Not only did it prepare its case for Tuesday's Cabinet meet, but has also collated guidelines regarding television broadcast in other countries like the UK, Australia, Malaysia, the US and Singapore.

The Industry expects that after capping the FDI in TV channels at 26 per cent, the government is likely to put in some stringent guidelines, the same way it did when the print medium sector in India was opened up to foreign investment up to 26 per cent.

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