| 22 Jul 2024
Radio FM Phase III applicants can get 49 per cent FDI after FIPB clearance

New Delhi: Applicants in Phase III of FM Radio will be able to attract foreign direct investment, but the total direct and indirect investment including portfolio and FDI into the company will not exceed 49 per cent at the time of application and currency of licence.

In an announcement today, the Government said the company would be required the status of the such foreign holding and it will have to certify that it is within 49 per cent on an yearly basis.

It was also clarified that any investment will have to be with the approval of the Foreign Investments Promotion Board.

The calculation of the direct or indirect foreign investments will be as per extant policy of the government.

This has been done today by an amendent in the Policy Guidelines for Phase III announced on 24 November last year.

While announcing a relaxation on FDI in the electronic media on 20 June 2016, the Government had not referred to radio.

The government had then opened up setting up of teleports, direct-to-home, cable networks, headend-in-the-sky and mobile television to 100 per cent foreign direct investment through the automatic route.

In a major announcement, the Central Government had announced radical liberalization of the FDI regime with most sectors coming under the automatic approval route, except a small negative list.

However with regard to the broadcasting sector, it was made clear that infusion of fresh foreign investment beyond 49% in a company not seeking license/permission from sectoral Ministry, resulting in change in the ownership pattern or transfer of stake by existing investor to new foreign investor, will require approval of the Foreign Investments Promotion Board.

The new policy said ‘Cable networks’ included Multi System operators (MSOs) operating at National or State or District level and undertaking upgradation of networks towards digitalization and addressability. This would also apply to other MSOs not undertaking upgradation of networks towards digitalization and addressability and Local Cable Operators (LCOs)

The Government claimed that with these changes, India is now the most open economy in the world for FDI. India today has been rated as Number 1 FDI Investment Destination by several International Agencies.