With an eye on the proposed Phase III of the FM Radio auctions, the Indian government has increased the foreign direct investment limit in FM Radio to 26%, from the previously applicable limit of 20%. According to a circular from ministry of commerce and industry, “This change ensures conformity of the foreign investment limit in this sector with other similar activities in the Information & Broadcasting sector.”

The FM Phase III licensing and auction process received Cabinet approval in July, and the increase of the FDI limit was one of the proposed plans. I don’t quite understand why a standard FDI limit of 74% can’t be applicable across various access and broadcast sectors – FM, DTH, IPTV, Telecom, ISP’s, given that these sectors are simlar and often competing.

FM Phase-III is expected (by the government) to extend FM radio services to about 227 new cities, in addition to the present 86 cities, with a total of 839 new FM radio Channels in 294 cities.

For more on what FM stations can do, read our detailed coverage here.