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Do news websites in India need government approvals? Newslaundry.com files for FDI approval

(with inputs from NT Balanarayan) Update: Newslaundry filed for an FIPB approval because the RBI asked them to, in order to allow a transfer of shares to DML. Co-founder Abhinandan Sekhri has sent MediaNama a statement: 'Newslaundry filed FIPB because we got a letter dated February 6, 2013 from the Reserve Bank of India saying “You are advised to obtain FIPB approval for the same.” The “same” being the subject of the letter which was “Submission of form FCGPR” regarding our company giving 6.25% stake to Singapore based Digital Media Laboratory (DML) who own the same amount (6.25%) in the production house (Small Screen) that incubated Newslaundry. Since the new company News Laundry Media Pvt Ltd had to be formed we had to (in the spirit of fairness) transfer an equal amount of stake to DML. We went to North Block and met with officials (Dy Secy) from the Ministry of Finance since we were of the understanding that as a web only platform we didn’t need FIPB. The official at the MoF checked and told us that we did in fact need FIPB clearance before transfer of any shares to DML could be permitted.' Earlier: News Laundry Media Private Limited, which operates the website Newslaundry.com has sought an approval from India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB), to sell stake to Singapore based Digital Media Laboratory Pte Ltd. It is not clear exactly how much money is being raised, and how much stake is being sold. This is probably unprecedented, because as far…

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Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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