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Home / Industry / Media /  Trai proposes 49% FDI limit in news channels, FM radio

New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has proposed increasing the foreign direct investment (FDI) limit in news television and private FM radio broadcasting to 49% from the current 26%, according to recommendations posted on its website on Thursday.

Trai has also proposed increasing FDI in distribution and carriage services such as direct-to-home television, cable networks and mobile TV to 100% from the existing 74%.

The recommendations, which have been made following consultations with industry stakeholders, are in line with those made by a finance ministry panel led by Arvind Mayaram, secretary in the department of economic affairs, on FDI caps across sectors, including the media.

However, in Trai’s view, the foreign equity investment should be routed through the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), as opposed to the automatic route as proposed by the Mayaram committee.

“The Authority recommends that the government should ensure that the process of FIPB approval is streamlined and the requests for FDI are processed in a time-bound manner," Trai said in its recommendations.

In case of carriage services, investments upto 49% should be through the automatic route, and beyond that will need FIPB approval, Trai said. In the case of news television and radio broadcasters, the foreign investment will be subject to approval by FIPB.

On Wednesday, the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B) asked Trai and Press Council of India (PCI) to send their views on proposed changes to the FDI limit in print and television media.

On 12 July, the ministry asked Trai to examine the FDI limits in broadcasting proposed by the Mayaram panel and furnish recommendations after no consensus emerged from its consultations with other stakeholders including media owners.

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