New Delhi 18 November (KNB): The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a public notice asking entities involved in the streaming of news and current affairs through digital media to comply with the Centre’s earlier order permitting 26% foreign direct investment under the government approval route to such entities.
In the notice, I&B Ministry laid out the detailed actions to be undertaken by eligible entities to comply with the government’s September 18, 2019 decision within a month.
The notice read, “entities having foreign investment below 26% may furnish an intimation to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting within one month giving details of the company and its shareholding pattern along with the names and addresses of its directors/shareholder.”
Through the notice, I&B ministry directed such entities to also provide the names and addresses of its promoters/significant beneficial owners and also a confirmation concerning 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.
The notice said, “Entities which, at present, have an equity structure with foreign investment exceeding 26% would give similar details as above to the ministry within one month from today, and take necessary steps for bringing down the foreign investment to 26% by October 15, 2021, and seek approval of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.”
Last month, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre seeking its response on a PIL for regulating over-the-top (OTT) platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime by an autonomous body.
Recently, The Centre issued orders bringing online films and audio-visual programmes made available by online content providers, and online news and current affairs content under the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The I&B notice issued on Monday, also stated 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 DPIIT, as per the requirements of the FDI policy of the government.
“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 over 60 days in a year by way of appointment, contract or consultancy or any other capacity for the functioning of the entity, prior their deployment,” notice read.
Further stated, “For this purpose, the entities will apply to the ministry at least 60 days in advance and the proposed foreign personnel shall be deployed by the entity only after prior approval of this ministry.”(KNB)