Dec 5, 2008

Business - India;Govt issues norms for publishing foreign mags in India

NEW DELHI: The government has issued guidelines for foreign news and current affairs magazines publishing Indian editions, prescribing key editorial and executive positions to be filled up by Indians.

According to the guidelines announced today, 75 per cent of the boards of directors of the publishing companies should be resident Indians.

The magazines have been allowed to reproduce their foreign editions entirely, while permitting them to add local content and advertisements, an official statement said.

According to a ministry source, the government's decision will provide Indian readers access to foreign magazines at cheaper rates in comparison to the same magazines imported at much higher rates. He added that it would help the Indian reader to keep abreast with the latest events and happenings on the global platform.


Foreign magazines that are publishing continuously for at least five years are eligible to get approval for Indian editions.


The proposed publication should have been published continuously for a period of at least 5 years, and the publication must have had a circulation of at least 10,000 paid copies in the last financial year in the country of its origin.

The period of continuous publication and circulation must be certified by the respective Governmental authority of the country. If there is no such Governmental authority regulating such matters, the certificate should be from respected and recognised agencies engaged in the business of certification.

The guidelines also directed that Indian companies that form joint ventures with foreign magazines for royalty or other payments will have to abide by the rules and regulations framed by the government from time to time.

Moreover, the guidelines stated that the foreign magazines must allow government agencies to inspect their facilities at any time.


The Indian companies would be allowed to enter into financial arrangements (such as royalty payment arrangements, etc.) with the owners of the foreign magazines subject to the rules and regulations of the Government of India issued on the matter from time to time.


The mandate states that the publisher/owner of the foreign magazine proposing to have Indian edition would be granted only to those entities/publishers which are registered as an Indian company with the Registrar of Companies under the provisions of the Indian Companies Act, 1956.

The Government has reserved the the right to suspend/ withdraw/ cancel the permission of the company for a specified period or for whole time, if the conditions specified in the grant of permission is violated or in public interest or in the interest of national security. The company shall immediately comply with the directives issued in this regard.

The government allows 26 per cent in news and current affairs sector in the print media.

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