The Indian government started this year by introducing the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021. The cryptocurrency market was swept by a wave of panic and the bill attracted a lot of criticism.
The government now again speaks about the bill, clarifying the status of the bill.
The topic of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency was raised on Tuesday in the Council of States being the upper house of India’s bicameral Parliament.
The bill came right after India announced its own digital currency just like China is developing the digital yuan. It seeks to ban all private cryptocurrencies while allowing certain exceptions to foster the digital technology. In essence, its purpose is to create a regulatory framework for digital currency. The regulatory framework will allow the digital currency, better known as cryptocurrency to be issued from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Ever since the bill was discussed in the lower house, it has raised questions in the upper house of India’s bicameral Parliament also.
Anurag Thakur, Minister of State Finance took to clarifying the position of the government on this front.
The upper house or better known as Rajya Sabha directed some questions towards the Finance Minister.
K.C. Ramamurthy, Member Parliament pointed out that the issue concerning the cryptocurrency was accelerating. He questioned the finance minister if there was a legislation proposed to curb digital currencies like the crypto in the country.
The Minister answered that regulatory authorities such as the RBI and Securities Exchange Board of India do not have a legal framework. He added that there was no framework because cryptocurrency currently neither categorized as currency, nor asset nor security nor commodity.
He referred to the prevailing laws as inadequate for the purpose of dealing with cryptocurrency or any form of digital currency. He even apprised the upper house that the interministerial committee was formulated for this purpose and it had already submitted its report.
The Finance Minister also directed the attention of the Rajya Sabha towards the meeting of the empowered technology group. He noted that another report had also been given by some other committee with the Cabinet Secretary.
He assured the upper house of the Parliament that the bill was in its final stages and was soon to be sent to the Cabinet.
The clarification by Thakur was welcomed and met with positivity.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Indian crypto exchange Wazirx, namely Nischal Shetty took the clarification as a positive sign. He believed that this shows that the Parliament is holding discussions around the bill. This meant that the bill is well-thought and won’t be passed in haste. He called the entire discussion between the two houses of Parliament as a very positive development.