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Govt plans to raise FDI cap in DTH, IPTV and FM

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The information and broadcasting ministry has proposed to increase foreign direct investment limit across media platforms -- in direct-to home, internet protocol TV (IPTV), multi-system operators and FM radio -- to bring in consistency, according to sources.

The FDI in DTH, IPTV and MSO is likely to be raised from 49% to 74%, while the investment in FM radio will be increased from 20% to 26%. The proposal based on broadcast regulator Trai's recommendations has been sent to the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) under the ministry of commerce.

Sources said that foreign investment up to 26% was allowed through the automatic route earlier but now any FDI above 26% will be allowed after it is approved by the foreign investment promotion board (FIPB). Investment cap of general entertainment channels (100%) and news and current affairs channels (26%) will remain the same. The I&B ministry has rejected Trai's proposal to reduce FDI in GEC and in local cable operators.

Sources in the ministry said that DTH, IPTV, Mobile TV and HITS require substantial infrastructure augmentation, which needs huge investment. There was also need for convergence of technologies in the broadcast and telecom sector where 74% foreign investment is allowed.

indiatimes.