Crypto bill being finalised, will be sent to cabinet soon: Govt

MUMBAI: Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Tuesday, responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, said the government is in the process of finalising a cryptocurrency bill which will be sent to the Union Cabinet soon.

In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had banned banks from processing transactions relating to cryptocurrency. However, in March last year, the Supreme Court had lifted the ban.

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“There is no doubt that the problem of bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies is escalating and the circular issued by the RBI also has limited impact. I would like to know from the honorable finance minister whether there is any proposal to bring in a bill to curb cryptocurrency in the country,” KC Ramamurthy, a Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament from Karnataka, had asked in the Rajya Sabha today.

In response to the question, Thakur said cryptocurrencies are neither currencies nor assets, placing them outside the direct regulatory ambit of RBI or the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Hence, the government will bring a bill on the subject.

“Regulatory bodies like RBI and Sebi etc also don’t have a legal framework to directly regulate cryptocurrencies as they are neither currencies nor assets or securities or commodities issued by an identifiable user. The existing laws are inadequate to deal with the subject. The government had formed an inter-ministerial committee and the committee has given a report. Post that there was a meeting of the empowered technology group which happened earlier. The committee of secretaries which was chaired by the cabinet secretary has also its given their report. The bill is being finalised and will be sent to the cabinet soon. So we will be bringing the bill soon,” Thakur said.

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