The Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting issued a public notice on Monday for online news platforms to comply with certain conditions within a month. The conditions require the online news platforms with even less than 26 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) to share details of their shareholding, directors and promoters within a month.
The decision comes a week after the government had put news and entertainment online platforms under the purview of the I&B Ministry. The government had allowed 26 per cent FDI in online news platforms last year and had issued detailed guidelines in September.
The I&B Ministry said in a statement that it 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” regarding the FDI.
“Entities having foreign investment below 26% may furnish an intimation to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting within one month from today giving the following,” it stated, asking for details of the company’s shareholding, names and addresses of directors, promoters, significant beneficiaries, Permanent Account Numbers and latest audited or unaudited profit and loss statements along with the auditor’s reports.
Further, for “entities, which at present have an equity structure with foreign investment exceeding 26%, would give similar details” within a month “to take necessary steps for bringing down the foreign investment to 26%” by October 15 and “seek approval” from the I&B Ministry.
If any company intends to bring FDI, it will have to seek government permission.
“Every entity has to comply with the requirements of citizenship of Board of Directors and of the Chief Executive Officers… 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…” the ministry stated. The Indian Express