Jan 15, 2009

India - 100% FDI allowed in facsimile editions of foreign newspapers

order to encourage publishers of foreign newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, The Independent and several others to start the facsimile editions of their international editions in India, the government has allowed up to 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in the segment, but with certain riders.

According to the new FDI norms for facsimile editions issued by the commerce ministry today, up to 100 per cent FDI is allowed in facsimile editions of international newspapers provided the foreign investment in the Indian subsidiary is by the owner of the original foreign newspaper.

Also, the policy specifies that such a publication can be undertaken only by an entity incorporated or registered in India under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956.

Earlier, the print media policy allowed only up to 26 per cent foreign investment, including the FDI cap.

It should be noted that not a single such edition could start operations during the past two years since a policy of facsimile edition of international newspapers was brought out by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Last week, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) cleared the proposal of US-based Dow Jones to start the facsimile edition of its newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, in India.

Before the norms on facsimile editions were announced in June, 2005, only International Herald Tribune (IHT) was available in the country as a facsimile edition through its tie-up with the Deccan Chronicle group. However, IHT’s publishers did not pursue its publications once the new norms came into effect.

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