Crypto Currency

Bill on cryptocurrency, regulation of official digital currency under finalisation: FinMin

Our Bureau | | | Updated on: Dec 13, 2021
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Government yet to select banks for privatisation

The Finance Ministry on Monday informed the Lok Sabha that a bill on cryptocurrencies is being readied. It also admitted that the number of cryptocurrency fraud cases is under investigation.

Bill listed

“A bill on cryptocurrency and regulation of official digital currency is under finalisation for consideration of the Cabinet,” Minister of State in the Finance Ministry, Pankaj Chaudhary, said in written reply.

The government has listed a bill for the Winter Session of Parliament to ban all private cryptocurrencies and facilitate the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). This is one of 26 bills to be introduced during the session.

The bill is titled “The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021”.

Facilitative framework

According to Lok Sabha Bulletin, the purport of the cryptocurrency bill is “to create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the RBI. The bill 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.”

Second attempt

This is the second attempt to bring a bill in the House to ban all private cryptocurrencies. The government listed the cryptocurrency bill for the budget session with an intention to ban all private cryptocurrencies and facilitate CBDC but did not bring the bill. It did not list the bill for the Monsoon Session, but included it for the winter session.

Crypto-related fraud

Meawnhile, Chaudhary said, the government does not collect data on digital currencies. However, “eight cases concerning cryptocurrency related fraud are under investigation by the Directorate of Enforcement,” he said while adding that one case has also been registered by the Bangalore Zonal Unit of the Directorate of Enforcement in respect to Bitcoin.

“Further disclosure of information of these cryptocurrency cases will not be in larger public interest,” he said.

Bank privatisation

In response to another question, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply that the list of public sector banks for privatisation is yet to be finalised.

The government has proposed two public sector banks.

“Consideration of various issues related to disinvestment which, inter alia, include selection of the bank(s), is entrusted to the Cabinet committee designated for this purpose. Decision by the Cabinet committee concerned for privatisation of PSBs has not been taken in this regard,” she said.

This response has come at a time when bank unions have warned of a two-day strike later this week on the issue of privatisation.

Published on December 14, 2021

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