Govt Unlikely To Bring Bill On Cryptocurrency In Winter Session

NEW DELHI- The government is unlikely to bring a bill on cryptocurrency in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, top sources said on Wednesday.

They also suggested that whenever a bill will be brought, it will be referred to the parliamentary standing committee for wider deliberations with stakeholders.

The bill, which was listed in the government’s legislative business of the winter session, seeks to “create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India”.

It also 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 bill listed for introduction on the Lok Sabha website.

The sources said it is unlikely the bill will be brought in the ongoing winter session.

Currently, there is no regulation or any ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.

Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last month, held a meeting on cryptocurrencies with senior officials, and indications are that strong regulatory steps could be taken to deal with the issue.

There have been a rising number of advertisements, featuring even film stars, promising easy and high returns on investments in cryptocurrencies in recent times, amid concerns over such currencies being allegedly used for luring investors with misleading claims.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance, chaired by BJP member Jayant Sinha, had also met the representatives of crypto exchanges, blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), among others, and arrived at a conclusion that cryptocurrencies should not be banned but should be regulated.

The RBI has repeatedly reiterated its strong views against cryptocurrencies, saying they pose serious threats to the macroeconomic and financial stability of the country and also doubted the number of investors trading on them and their claimed market value.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das too had earlier this month had reiterated his views against allowing cryptocurrencies, saying they are a serious threat to any financial system since they are unregulated by central banks.

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