BENGALURU: Amidst a lingering confusion over the fate of cryptocurrencies legislation in India, the Member of Parliament and the Chairperson of the standing committee on finance, Jayant Sinha, on Wednesday said that the finance ministry has sent the crypto legislation to the Cabinet and it will introduced in Parliament soon.
In a fireside chat with the Zebpay CEO Avinash Shekhar, Sinha said that the regulations around cryptocurrencies in India may follow several global protocols but will have to be unique to the country. The statement comes after a prolonged silence from the government over the fate of digital currencies even as the RBI as well as a committee set up by the finance ministry had recommended banning the virtual tokens.
“The government is looking at the virtual currencies keeping in mind both the growth this asset has seen over the last few years and the concerns around national security,” Sinha said at a webinar organized by the Internet and Mobile Association of India. “The regulations on various financial instruments for the past decade under the Modi government have been very progressive. From Aadhaar-enabled low-cost payment systems to UPI and digital KYCs, we have built the most affordable, cutting-edge financial innovation system,” he added.
Currently, the legislation, Sinha said, has been sent to the Cabinet after which it will be introduced in the parliament and may soon be implemented as a law. Without elaborating on the contents of the legislation, Sinha said that India’s financial systems are unique and cannot replicate countries like the US and Japan. “Here we do have restriction when it comes to trading in foreign currencies. The government will have to walk a tightrope balancing both financial innovations as well as the security concerns,” he added.
The crypto industry leaders have been advocating the classification of bitcoin as an asset class and markets regulator Sebi overseeing the regulations. “The possibility of suggesting amendments in the said legislation arises after the industry leaders meet with the expert committee set up by the finance ministry,” Sinha said.