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I&B asks Digital News Platforms with FDI to Provide Ownership Details

    15 November , 2020         Fdiindia

I&B asks Digital News Platforms with FDI to Provide Ownership Details

Digital platforms and news websites provide news and current affairs with a FDI of up to 26%, are now requested by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry to submit all the details of their ownership pattern in a month’s time. Entities with FDIs over 26% are requested to bring it down by October 2021.

The I&B ministry on Monday issued a public notice informing the entities involved to handle the uploading or the streaming of news as well as current affairs that take place through digital media to comply with the directive.

The notice clearly called out all the entities currently working with foreign investments below 26% to furnish an intimation to the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting within one month, offering them with details of the company as well as the entity and its shareholding pattern along with the names and addresses of its directors and shareholders. It also sought the names and addresses of promoters and significant beneficial owners.

A confirmation on the compliance with the overall pricing, documentation and reporting requirements under the FDI Policy, the Foreign Exchange Management (Non-debt Instruments) Rules, 2019 and Foreign Exchange Management (Mode of Payment and Reporting of Non-debt Instruments) Regulations, 2019 also has to be provided.

The ministry has also sought the companies’ Permanent Account Number (PAN) and the latest audited or unaudited profit and loss statement and balance sheet along with the auditor report.

Entities, which, at present, have an equity structure with foreign investments exceeding 26% would also have to give similar details within one month from Monday, and “take necessary steps for bringing down the foreign investment to 26% by 15th October, 2021”, the ministry has said.

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 the DPIIT.

Every entity has to comply with the requirement of citizenship of Board of Directors and of the Chief Executive Officers (by whatever name called).

The I&B ministry has also made clear that the entities are required to obtain security clearance for all foreign personnel likely to be deployed for more than 60 days in a year by way of appointment, contract or consultancy or any other capacity for functioning of the entity, prior to their deployment.

For this purpose, the entities will apply to Ministry of Information & Broadcasting at least 60 days in advance and the proposed foreign personnel shall be deployed by the entity only after prior approval of this Ministry.