MIB seeks compliance of policy on FDI in digital media within a month

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Updated: Nov 16, 2020 3:08 PM

Entities having foreign investment below 26% may furnish an intimation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month from Monday

Any entity which intends to bring fresh foreign investment in the country has to seek prior approval of the Central GovernmentAny entity which intends to bring fresh foreign investment in the country has to seek prior approval of the Central Government

On Monday, the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a public notice to facilitate eligible entities involved in uploading/streaming of news and current affairs through digital media, to comply with the decision of Union Government on September 18, 2019, which had permitted 26% FDI under Government approval route.

As per the notice, entities having foreign investment below 26% may furnish an intimation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month from Monday by giving the details of the company / entity and its shareholding pattern along with the names and addresses of its directors / shareholders, the names and address of promoters /significant beneficial owners. Further, entities are also required to give 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/existing foreign investment and downstream investment(s), if any, as well as Permanent Account Number and the latest audited / unaudited Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet along with the Auditor report.

The notice also stated that entities which, at present, have an equity structure with foreign investment exceeding 26% would give similar details as stated above to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting within one month from today, and to take necessary steps for bringing down the foreign investment to 26% by October 15, 2021 and seek approval of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Meanwhile, the notice also pointed that 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 Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), as per the requirements of FDI Policy of Government of India and DPIIT Press Note No. 4 of 2019 (dated September 18, 2019) in this regard and Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments)(Amendment) Rules, 2019 vide Notification dated December 5, 2019.

The notice also briefed that every entity has to comply with the requirements of citizenship of the 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. For this purpose, the entities will apply to the 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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