Indian Ministry moots 74% FDI limit for cable, DTH

Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 18-10-2011

A uniform foreign direct investment (FDI) limit of 74% for all broadcast carriage providers has reportedly been put forward by India's Industry Ministry, in line with the regulator's June 2010 recommendations.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has circulated a draft Cabinet note to the ministries of Home Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, and Finance, requesting the FDI limit is increased, reports
The draft note suggests that the same FDI limit be applied to cable TV, direct to home (DTH) satellite, and head-end in the sky (HITS) operations, according to the online financial publication.
Currently FDI is capped at 49% for India's cable TV and DTH operators, and 74% in HITS companies. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) suggested raising the limit of overseas financing in broadcast platforms to 74%.
The increase is expected, among other benefits, to provide much needed investment in India's cable sector, which is facing a hefty bill for the government-decreed migration to digital transmission by the end of 2014. India has an estimated 116 million cable TV households, of which 83 million are currently analogue.
US$2.88 billion was received in the broadcasting service sector from foreign investment between April and August 2011, according to