I&B Ministry Seeks Compliance of 26% FDI In Digital News Entities

This comes three days after the Ministry brought digital news sites under its jurisdiction.

2 min read
The DIGIPUB News India Foundation was announced on Tuesday, 27 October, with the intent “to help ensure the creation of a healthy and robust news ecosystem for the digital age.”

News websites and digital media platforms that provide news with a Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of upto 26 percent have been asked by the Union Ministry of Information & Broadcast (I&B) to furnish details of their ownership pattern within a month.

Entities which have over 26 percent FDI will have to bring it down by 15 October 2021, said a directive from the Ministry.

The public notice which was issued on Monday, 16 November, asked all entities involved in uploading or streaming of news to comply with the new directive.

Entities with foreign investments below 26 percent have to furnish details of the same to Ministry within one month from the date of the directive being issues. These details must provide the name of the company or entity and its shareholding pattern along with the names and addresses of its directors and shareholders.

It also sought names and addresses of promoters and significant beneficial owners.

Those with FDIs exceeding 26 percent will also be given a month to furnish these details and must “take necessary steps for bringing down the foreign investment to 26% by 15th October, 2021”, said the notice.

The ministry has also said that digital news entities are "required to obtain security clearance for all foreign personnel likely to be deployed for more than 60 days in a year by way of appointment, contract or consultancy or any other capacity for functioning of the entity, prior to their deployment".

If an entity seeks to bring fresh foreign investment in the country, it has to seek prior approval of the central government, through the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal of the DPIIT.

This directive from the Ministry comes three days after it brought digital news sites under its jurisdiction.

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