In a major decision that will inject new vigour into print media, the government on Thursday allowed India editions of foreign magazines with news and current affairs content with 26 per cent foreign direct investment.
With this decision, foreign magazines can come with India editions with local as well as global contents at cheaper prices.
As of now, foreign publications are allowed to take out only facsimile editions. For example, US's Time, and UK's Economist have a facsimile edition which come at high price.
Earlier, only 26 per cent FDI was allowed in Indian print media while foreign magazines were allowed through facsimile edition.
"The Cabinet on Thursday gave its approval to review the 'Print Media Policy' by allowing of Indian editions of foreign magazines publishing news and comments -- periodicals falling under the news and current affairs category with 26 per cent foreign investment," Information & Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunishi said.
The Indian publisher would have to invest 74 per cent of the equity owning the venture.
"The decision will enable Indian readers to access the foreign magazines at cheaper rates compared to the same publications imported at much higher rates. The Indian reader would be benefited immensely as he/she would be able to keep abreast with the latest events and happenings on the global scale," he said.
The permission is subject to the condition that at least 3/4th of the directors on the board of the applicant Indian company and all key executives and editorial staff being resident Indians.
Dasmunshi said while the decision allows the Indian publisher to have content 100 per cent identical to the foreign magazine concerned, local content can also be added.
The Indian publisher can insert local advertisements as well.
Permission would be granted for publication of only such magazines which are being published in the country of their origin and they should have been publishing continuously for a period of at least five years.
They should have a circulation of at least 10,000 paid copies for the last financial year in the country of its origin.
The broad parameters for granting such permission include registration Indian companies under the Indian Companies Act, 1956. Indian companies will also be allowed to enter into financial arrangements like royalty payment arrangements with the owners of the foreign magazines.
The title of the magazine should be get verified and subsequently registered by the Indian company from the Registrar of Newspapers for India.