1 Minute View: Why 49% FDI? Why not 100%???

31 Jul,2013

It’s an election year and one can’t be sure whether the government will be open to see reason, but there’s got to be some bizarre logic for the powers that be to okay 100 percent foreign direct investment in telecom and not in news broadcasting and FM radio.


As bizarre as allowing 100 percent in non-news television, but not on FM radio. And as bizarre as allowing news channels to proliferate and permit cable TV to exist in all parts of the country, but not letting independent news air on FM radio.


There are of course arguments on how the likes of Rupert Murdoch have lowered the standards of news in the UK. But what about some of our news channels and publications?


There is also a sentiment that foreign-owned means anti-India and anti-employees, but that’s a fallacy. We’ve seen very recently how even Indian media-owners do not follow basic courtesies while shutting down unprofitable editions.


So, why this charade of not allowing 100% FDI in both news TV and FM? And not just news TV but even print newspapers and magazines?


Guess there are enough lobbies at work which prevent the government from allowing FDI in news, and in an election year, the MIB and the ruling alliance wouldn’t want to upset the traditional media owners.  Sigh.


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