Centre gives one month time to media getting 26% FDI to furnish details

New Delhi: The Central government on Monday requested media entities having foreign investment below 26 per cent to furnish an intimation within one month.

The message was circulated through a public notice issued by Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry on Monday to facilitate eligible entities involved in uploading or streaming of news and current affairs through digital media.

The move was taken to comply with the Central government’s September 18, 2019 decision which had permitted 26 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under government approval route.

In the public notice, available on its website, the Ministry has laid out the detailed actions to be undertaken by eligible entities to comply with this decision, within a month.

Under the notice, it is mentioned that entities having foreign investment below 26 per cent may furnish an intimation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month from Monday (today).

It is directed that these entities will have to give details of the company and its shareholding pattern along with the names and addresses of its directors or shareholders. The names and address of promoters or significant beneficial owners is also required.

A confirmation with regard to compliance with pricing, documentation and reporting requirements under the FDI Policy, Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) Rules, 2019 and Foreign Exchange Management (Mode of Payment and Reporting of Non-debt Instruments) Regulations, 2019 along with copies of relevant reporting forms in support of the past and existing foreign investment and downstream investment(s), if any, is also needed.

Permanent Account Number and the latest audited or unaudited Profit and Loss Statement and Balance Sheet along with the Auditor report is also necessary.

Entities which, at present, have an equity structure with foreign investment exceeding 26 per cent would give similar details to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month from today, and to take necessary steps for bringing down the foreign investment to 26 per cent by October 15, 2021 and seek approval of the Ministry.

Any entity which intends to bring fresh foreign investment in the country has to seek prior approval of the central government, through the Foreign Investment Facilitation Portal of DPIIT, as per the requirements of government’s FDI policy and Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments)(Amendment) Rules, 2019.

In a note, the notice also mentioned that investment means to subscribe, acquire, hold or transfer any security or unit issued by a person resident in India.

In its final line, the notice mentions that every entity has to comply with the requirements of citizenship of Board of Directors and of the Chief Executive Officers (by whatever name called).

“The 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,” said the notice.

“For this purpose, the entities will apply to Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at least 60 days in advance and the proposed foreign personnel shall be deployed by the entity only after prior approval of this Ministry.”


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