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Wednesday, Mar 06, 2002

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Cabinet nod for 100 p.c. FDI in films, advertising
By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, MARCH 5. The Union Cabinet today approved 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in films and advertising through the automatic approval route, but held back a decision on permitting FDI in print media. In doing so, it reportedly went by the recommendation of the Group of Ministers (GoM) which had suggested that permitting 100 per cent FDI in print media, territorial television and radio broadcasting need not be taken up now and the matter could be considered later.

As for advertising, the GoM had suggested the FDI limit be set at 74 per cent, but the Cabinet today decided to raise it to 100 per cent. The GoM had also suggested 100 per cent FDI in academic, scientific and technical journals and this proposal had come before the Cabinet earlier but kept pending.

The issue of allowing foreign investment in print media has been embroiled in controversy, with the domestic media divided over it. Even the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology saw divergent views and at one stage it considered a suggestion to permit 26 per cent FDI. Ultimately, it is understood to have scrapped this proposal and opposed FDI.

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