EU urges government to raise FDI in media

MUMBAI: It was in March at a special session on 'The Future of Newspapers in the World', organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), that (then) information and broadcasting Jaipal Reddy indicated it was not opposed to foreign direct investment (FDI) in the media, including print and electronic.

At another CII meeting in the capital today, Viviane Reding, European Union commissioner for information society and media, raised the issue again when she urged India to remove restrictions on foreign investments in print and broadcasting media to enable media houses in the EU forge joint ventures with their Indian counterparts.

"I am going to raise this issue (of raising foreign equity cap) in print and audio visual media with Indian government. Many companies from EU have expressed their keenness to enter into joint venture with Indian print and broadcast groups. The less and less are the barriers, trading relations will be better," the Press trust of India quoted Reding as saying.

As per current norms, FDI in news and current affairs of both print and television media is 26 per cent, while in FM radio and in direct-to-home venture it is 20 per cent. It is only for speciality publications (trade and science) that 100 per cent FDI is allowed.

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