India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, has revealed that the previous version of the cryptocurrency bill the government is pushing needed to be reworked. “This bill, once the Cabinet clears, will come into the House,” the finance minister told Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s parliament.
Indian Government pushes for a new crypto bill
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman answered some questions in Rajya Sabha Tuesday regarding the government’s cryptocurrency plans and the crypto bill that has been listed to be taken up in the current session of parliament.
“The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” seeks “to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses,” according to the legislative agenda for the winter session of Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament.
Responding to questions regarding the crypto bill, Finance Minister Sitharaman explained that “There were other dimensions and the old bill had to be reworked and now we are trying to work on a new bill.” She emphasized:
Once the Cabinet is cleared, this bill will be brought into the House.
A previous version of the bill on cryptocurrency was supposed to have been introduced at an earlier session, but was not adopted.
Noting that the previous version of the bill was a “genuine attempt,” Sitharaman described:
An earlier effort was to create a bill the House could consider. However, the House had to consider many other issues quickly so we began work on a different bill. The bill is currently being considered.
Current version of the cryptocurrency bill is not yet public. So far, the Indian government has published only one crypto bill — the one drafted by an interministerial committee (IMC) headed by former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg. Published in July 2019, the Garg committee’s bill proposes creating a regulatory framework for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to be issued by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), but a ban for all other cryptocurrencies.
A few questions were also asked by the finance minister about misleading and false crypto ads. Her response was that digital currency ads will not be stopped.
The finance minister addressed three questions from Lok Sabha on Monday regarding Bitcoin transactions, Karnataka’s high-profile scam and legality of Indian cryptocurrency trading. She pointed out that neither bitcoin transactions nor cryptocurrency trading are collected by the government. Additionally, she stated that the government has not proposed to recognize Bitcoin as a currency.
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