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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 June, 2005, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
India eases foreign media rules
Indian newspapers
Indian newspapers are cheaper than foreign papers
The Indian government has widened foreign investment in the print media.

It will allow foreign institutional investors, overseas Indians and portfolio investors to invest in the print sector.

Up until now there has been restrictions on the amount of foreign investment in the Indian print media.

The Information Minister, Jaipal Reddy, said foreign holdings would continue to be limited to a 26% share of the total to ensure local ownership.

But he said that "the scope" of areas where they are allowed to invest will be extended.

The government also decided to keep its ban on the publication of Indian editions of foreign newspapers.

But it has allowed foreign companies to have their newspapers and current affairs magazines printed and distributed in India, Reddy said.

"The rationale behind the decision was that the Indian paper industry will not be able to withstand competition," Mr Reddy said.

Correspondents say foreign editions of papers that are almost two days old are sold in Indian stores for almost $10.

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