NEW DELHI: The Centre on Tuesday said that the Inter-ministerial panel on cryptocurrency has submitted its report and that a bill to regulate cryptocurrency is being finalised. This bill is likely to be sent to the Union Cabinet for approval soon.
“A high-level Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) was constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Economic Affairs) to study the issues related to virtual currencies and propose specific actions to be taken in the matter recommended in its report that all private cryptocurrencies, except any virtual currencies issued by state, will be prohibited in India,”
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in reply to a question in the Rajya Sabhya on whether the Centre was planning to issue guidelines on cryptocurrency. Earlier on Tuesday, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur had also said in Parliament that the government will bring in the bill soon. Thakur added that the government had formed the inter-ministerial panel because the existing laws were inadequate to deal with the subject.
“This committee has submitted a report, following which there will be a meeting of the empowered technology group. The committee of secretaries has also given its report, and now the bill is being finalised before it’s sent to the Cabinet,” Thakur added. He was responding to a question asked in the Parliament.
“The RBI took initiative and banned cryptocurrencies. Based on all this, reports were submitted and the government has prepared a bill, which will be tabled in Parliament soon,” he said. The minister’s response comes after reports that the Centre is planning to ban private cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, by introducing a bill in Parliament. Reports have also said that the Centre is planning an official digital currency of its own under the Reserve Bank of India.
The RBI had virtually banned cryptocurrency trading in 2018 and had directed all entities regulated by the central bank to cease dealing in virtual currencies. The Supreme Court had also asked the Centre in 2019 to frame policies for crypto, and in 2020, struck down the curbs imposed by the RBI.