The Indian government has finally moved forward with a cryptocurrency bill. Entitled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021”, the bill has been taken up for consideration in the current parliamentary session of Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament. It tries to create a framework for India’s official digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), but bans all cryptocurrencies.
Indian government plans to introduce cryptocurrency bill in current parliamentary session
After nearly two years of waiting, the Indian government has finally moved on with a cryptocurrency bill. According to Lok Sabha’s January 29 bulletin, the bill titled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” is listed for consideration in the current parliamentary session. Parliament’s budget session started on Friday and will close on April 8, with a pause between February 15 and March 8. The union’s budget will be presented on February 1.
The bulletin lists the bills sent by the Indian government for consideration at the budget session. Among them is the cryptocurrency bill, the description of which reads:
To create a facilitating framework for [the] creation of the official digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India. The bill also aims to ban all private cryptocurrencies in India, but it allows certain exceptions to promote cryptocurrency’s underlying technology and its use.
The Mint publication explained: “ In the legislative order of things for the 17th Lok Sabha budget session that started today, the government has drafted a bill that provides for the ban on all private cryptocurrencies in India, such as bitcoin, ether , ripple and others. . “
This bill to ban cryptocurrencies is similar to the crypto bill prepared by an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) headed by former Finance Minister Subhash Chandra Garg. That bill, dated February 2019, was unveiled by the Ministry of Finance in July 2019. It proposes to ban all private cryptocurrencies and provides for the creation of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital rupee. Garg has since resigned of his government work and the Treasury Department had hitherto kept silent about the bill.
On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) published a booklet on payment systems in India recognizing the popularity of cryptocurrencies. The central bank too confirmed that it “is exploring the need for a digital version of fiat currency and, if any, how to operationalize it.” In December, the Ministry of Finance considered impressive a tax on goods and services (GST) of 18% on bitcoin transactions.
First Introduction of Crypto Bill in Parliament, Crypto Community Response
While there are reports that the Indian government has previously planned to ban cryptocurrencies, this is the first time a bill to ban crypto has been included in Lok Sabha for consideration.
The Indian crypto community disapproves of the government’s decision. “That’s ridiculous,” wrote one Twitter user. Another warned that the RBI should not ban bitcoin, stating that the “Crypto bill should not be FUD at this point or India will lack momentum and innovation in decentralization.”
The CEO of the Indian crypto exchange Wazirx, Nischal Shetty, commented: “A country the size of India should at least work on understanding the underlying terminologies before presenting technology-related bills in parliament. It seems like a hurried move. If done incorrectly, it can potentially destroy a lot of value from the general public. He added, “Let’s hope this is a precursor to positive crypto regulations,” stressing:
Just because a bill is presented does not mean that it will be settled … Wrong or hasty regulations will take us back ten years. Proper regulation will catapult India to the forefront of this technology.
“We have leaders who are technologically proficient and they will certainly ask questions about this,” said the CEO.
Neeraj Khandelwal, co-founder and chief technology officer at Coindcx, another Indian cryptocurrency exchange, pointed out that there are an estimated more than five million Indians who “own a combined $ 10 billion worth of bitcoin, which is 2% of the Indian currency. forex reserves, cryptocurrency taxation could generate a few billion dollars in taxes for the Indian government. “He reiterated that” Previous attempts to ban bitcoin in India have failed. The industry survived for two years under the RBI’s banking ban. “
The Indian news on crypto ban came after a price hike in bitcoin followed Tesla CEO Elon Musk changing his Twitter profile to “#bitcoin” and tweeted, “In retrospect it was inevitable.”
Do you think India will ban crypto? Let us know in the comments below.
Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Indian Government
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