DPIIT issues clarification on 26% FDI in digital media

Digital news organisations senior execs need to be Indian; foreign staff need security clearance

KOLKATA: While significant growth in media is coming from digital media consumption, the government amended the foreign direct investment (FDI) policy last year. As a part of the reform, it had announced an approval of  26 per cent FDI in digital media. However, there was a lack of clarity about the niggling details. 

Mire than a year later, the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) has thrown some further light on it:

The rule would apply to :

·   Entities uploading/ streaming news and current affairs on websites, apps, other platforms;

·    News agencies which supply news to digital media entities and/or news aggregators;

·    News aggregators which, using software / web applications, aggregate content from various sources in one location.

These news organisations would be required to align their FDI to 26 per cent level with governmental the approval, within a year from today. To comply with the FDI policy, the majority of directors on the board of the company and CEO should be Indian citizens.

"Security nod must for foreign personnel deployed for more than 60 days in India if security nod for any foreign personnel gets denied, the employee has to resign/employment terminated," DPIIT said.

In this context, the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) has announced that it will consider in the near future to extend the following benefits, presently available to traditional media (print and TV), to such entities also:

·      PIB accreditation for its reporters, cameramen, videographers enabling them with better first-hand information and access including participation in official press conference and such other interactions.

·     Persons with PIB accreditation can also avail CGHS benefits and concessional rail fare as per the extant procedure.

·     Eligibility for digital advertisements through Bureau of Outreach and Communication.

Moreover, MIB has suggested forming a similar self-regulating body in digital media like print and electronic media.

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