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Thursday, Apr 25, 2002

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Cabinet defers proposal on FDI in print media

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NEW DELHI, April 24

THE Cabinet on Tuesday deferred the long pending proposal to allow Foreign Direct investment (FDI) in the print media.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, said although the proposal was on the Cabinet's agenda, it was not taken up because a comprehensive decision was required.

"What is warranted is a complete and comprehensive decision on the issue and this is not the time for it," Mr Mahajan said.

The proposal to allow FDI in scientific and technical journals was placed before the Cabinet last year.

However, a decision was deferred as the recommendations of the Standing Committee were not firmed up then.

Interestingly, the Standing Committee on Information Technology recently held that it was is in favour of allowing publication of foreign and scientific magazines while ruling out foreign investment in newspapers and periodicals dealing with news and current affairs.

The Committee, headed by Mr Somnath Chatterjee, was of the view that scientific and technological journals may be allowed to be published from India provided they entered into collaboration with publishing houses dealing with such scientific and technological projects.

At its meeting here on Tuesday, the Cabinet cleared the Payment of Wages Amendment Bill 2002.

This amends the 1936 Act, which regulates the payment of wages to certain class of persons, Mr Mahajan said.

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