As per the notice, the digital news entities will have to obtain a security clearance of all foreign personnel likely to be deployed for more than 60 days an year hired in the capacity of appointment, contract or consultancy.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry issued a clarification on Vide Press Note 4 of 2019 granting 26% FDI in the news digital media sector. According to the clarification, the grant will be applicable to digital media entities registered/ located in India and will have one year to align their FDI shareholding within the given limits. To clarify, this rule will be applicable to entities uploading/ streaming news and current affairs on websites, apps, other platforms, as well as news agencies which supply news to digital media entities, and news aggregators.
The ministry, in its notice, further stated that digital news agencies will also make sure that the most of their Board of Directors as well as the Chief Executive Officer is an Indian citizen. Further, the notice stated that the digital news entities will have to obtain a security clearance of all foreign personnel likely to be deployed for more than 60 days an year hired in the capacity of appointment, contract or consultancy. Moreover, in the event of withdrawal of the security clearance for the forign personnel, the entity will have to ensure that the person has resigned or is terminated forthwith receiving such directives from the government.
The Government is evaluating further incentives and benefits that may be allowed to digital media news executives and digital media news entities. Issued on October 16, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting declared digital media entities engaged in uploading/streaming of current affairs and news through ‘Digital Media’ eligible for digital advertisements through the Bureau of Outreach and Communication. The Ministry also encouraged digital media news entities to form self-regulating bodies for furthering their interests and interactions with the Government. Moreover, it stated that the Government will be considering extension of various benefits such as PIB accreditation, CGHS benefits and concessional rail fare to digital media news entities. At present, these benefits are only available to traditional media — print and TV.