India okays facsimile editions of foreign newspapers

January 14th, 2009 - 9:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 14 (IANS) In a move that will pave the way for facsimile editions of leading global media brands like The Wall Street Journal, the government Wednesay formally notified its decision to allow 100 percent foreign equity for publishers interested in publishing international dailies in India. In the case of facsimile editions of foreign newspapers, 100 percent foreign equity has been permitted with prior approval of the government - provided the investment is by the original foreign publisher, the commerce ministry said in a statement.

“The policy also specifies that the publication can be undertaken only by an entity incorporated or registered in India under the provisions of the Companies Act, 1956,” it said.

The publication of such edition will also be subject to the guidelines issued by the information and broadcasting ministry, the statement added.

In the case of Indian editions of foreign magazines that deal with news and current affairs, the guidelines issued recently permitted up to 26 percent foreign equity, inclusive of that by non-resident Indians and foreign funds.

Foreign investment in this sector shall be subject to the guidelines for publication of Indian editions of foreign magazines dealing with news and current affairs issued by the information and broadcasting ministry Dec 4, 2008.

The guidelines had made it clear that these foreign magazines can be only published by an Indian company, but will be free to add local content and mobilise advertisements.

The new guideline is expected to pave the way for the US media giant Dow Jones to publish facsimile editions of newspapers in India. The group’s proposal had been rejected twice - the last time in November.

Dow Jones, which publishes reputed newspapers and news magazines like the Wall Street Journal and the Far Eastern Economic Review, wants to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in India to produce the facsimile editions.

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