The proposed cryo-currency bill should not be introduced during the parliament’s ongoing winter session, sources told News18.com. The Center is still working on the proposed bill to finalize a legal framework for cryptocurrencies in India. The government has consulted extensively with various stakeholders to arrive at a well-rounded cryptocurrency law.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman previously said Center will introduce a new cryptocurrency bill in parliament once the Union cabinet approves it. The proposed “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021” is not on the agenda of the union meeting scheduled for December 15, sources confirmed. It should be mentioned that the winter session of the parliament will end on December 23.
Cryptocurrency Account: No General Ban
The description listed for ‘Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021’ said, “The bill also aims to ban all private cryptocurrencies in India.” As soon as the news of bringing a cryptocurrency account out during the winter session broke, investors began to panic selling over fears of a blanket ban on private currencies. However, the central government later clarified that they are under review and that it will take into account the interest of various stakeholders and the rapidly changing landscape of virtual currency space. “Yes, last time [monsoon session] there was an account but later because there were other dimensions… That account has been reworked. And in a sense, the bill that comes now is a new bill. But never mind, the work that has been done on that bill has all been taken over here,” the finance minister said.
“There were other dimensions and the old bill had to be reworked and now we are trying to work on a new bill,” the finance minister added.
Responding to a question regarding the regularization of cryptocurrency in India, Sitharaman said earlier in Rajya Sabha: “This is a risky area and not in a fully regulatory framework. No decision has been taken to ban her opinions. Via RBI and SEBI steps are being taken to create awareness. The government will shortly come up with a bill.”
“There is no doubt that the technology underlying cryptocurrencies i.e. blockchain is a game-changer in the way records are kept and transactions can be executed. While we would encourage government and regulators to create an enabling environment for innovation, the considerations surrounding cryptocurrencies appear to be multiple and require debate and policies to ensure healthy long-term development for all stakeholders. Aside from SEBI’s intent to protect the private investor from an asset class that has been highly speculative, often at the mercy of tweets, there have been recent reports of hacking, money laundering concerns and lack of clarity on taxes and accounting. We appreciate the timely involvement of the government to prepare supportive regulations, especially as the trading volume observed in cryptocurrencies has reached significant levels,” said Nikhil Aggarwal, co-founder and CEO of GripInvest.
Cryptocurrency Bill: The Way Forward
The central government had previously made it clear that there is no plan to accept cryptocurrency as legal tender in India. However, the finance minister clarified that there was no plan to stop ads of virtual currencies by the exchanges. Furthermore, when asked about the status of cryptocurrency trading in the country, the Secretary of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary, stated that the government is not collecting any information regarding the trading of the unregulated asset. The government would decide the path to follow regarding cryptocurrency based on the recommendation of a high-level inter-ministerial committee and the legislative proposal if tabled in parliament, he added.
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