Ambarish Mukherjee
Nithya Subramanian

New Delhi, Aug 18

THE Government has shot down a proposal by news agency Reuters India Pvt Ltd (RIPL) to independently provide content services to subscribers in India.

The company had sought permission from the Government to provide content (including media, news and other) services to subscribers in India on the understanding that the clients who have access to the content services would have the discretion whether or not to publish any part of the content provided by RIPL.

Along with this, it had sought deletion of the clause `the approval is subject to the condition that the Indian company will not function in the area of media services to newspapers, television and radio.'

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has clarified to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) that the operation of foreign news agencies in the country is guided by the Cabinet Decision of 1956, which stipulates that distribution of news within the country is to be effected through an Indian news agency owned and managed by Indians.

The Indian agency would have the full and final authority in selection of foreign news and distribution.

It would also be in a position to supply Indian news in reasonable volume to the foreign news agencies with whom it would have working arrangement.

Hence the I&B Ministry has not approved the proposal which was consequently rejected by the FIPB.

RIPL had set up a 100 per cent subsidiary in 1994 with an investment of Rs 9.3 crore to provide financial information services.

As per the Government norm, it has a tie-up with United News of India (UNI), a domestic news agency.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 19, 2005)
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