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

MIB has 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 the government on September 18, 2019, which had permitted 26 percent FDI under government approval route.

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

  • Entities having foreign investment below 26 percent may furnish an intimation to the MIB within one month giving the following:
    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.
  • 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.
  • Permanent account number and the latest audited/unaudited profit and loss statement and balance sheet along with the auditor report.
    Entities which, at present, have an equity structure with foreign investment exceeding 26 percent would give similar details as at (i) above to MIB, and to take necessary steps for bringing down the foreign investment to 26 percent 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 FDI policy of GoI 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.

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

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