| According to government officials, the relevant files
were signed by the I&B minister Ravi Shankar Prasad earlier this
But, interestingly, a debate is going on within the I&B ministry
whether the present policy guidelines allow printing and publication
of Indian editions of foreign newspapers and magazines from India
and the opinion is said to be divided on the matter.
This debate was kickstarted after Bennett Coleman and Co. - publishers
of The Times of India (TOI) and The Economic Times,
announced that a memorandum of understanding had been signed with
the publishers of The Asian Wall Street Journal for printing
an Indian edition of the business newspaper with an Indian acting
The MoU, it had been stated, would be within the specified guidelines
where up to 26 per cent foreign investment is permitted in the news
category of the print medium, though the government has not yet
been approached formally by the TOI group for clearances.
In Business Standard's (BS) case, printing and/or publication
of The Financial Times (FT) has not been dwelt on in the
Government officials also said today that the total foreign investment
in BSL would amount to slightly over 15 per cent, though originally
FT was slated to pick up 13.85 per cent equity stake.
The BS-FT tie-up was the first major foreign investment in an Indian
newspaper by a strategic investor.
The Business Standard and The Financial Times had
begun to cooperate a decade ago, through editorial syndication of
reports from FT's 300 correspondents worldwide. This relationship
has expanded over the years.
When finally cleared by the FIPB, Financial Times will join
the Kotak Mahindra group and Great Eastern Shipping as the leading
investors in Business Standard Ltd., which will continue to operate
as an independent entity, with its management reporting to the Board,
on which The Financial
Times will have appropriate representation.
Business Standard is published from seven centres in India,
and as India's second largest financial newspaper, reaches copies
to readers in over 500 towns and cities every day. The Financial
Times is one of the world's leading business newspapers, recognised
internationally for its authority,
integrity and accuracy. Providing extensive news, comment and analysis,
the newspaper is printed in 21 cities across the globe, has a daily
circulation of over 460,000 and a readership of more than 1.6 million
Other global print medium players who have evinced interest in
either setting up shop in India or tying up with an India media
company, include US business magazine BusinessWeek, Par
Golf from Exposure Media and Intelligent Computing Chip from