INDIA: The Finance Minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman has made it clear that there will not be a complete ban on cryptocurrencies or at least the technology part of it.
At an India Today Conclave, Sitharaman said that they are clear on not shutting all options and that they will allow certain windows for people to do experiments on blockchain, bitcoins, or cryptocurrency. She also added that fintech (financial technology) depends on such experiments and it will have that window available.
Sitharaman stated that the Cabinet note will detail the kind of formulation adding that the note is nearing completion after which it will be taken to the Cabinet. “The Supreme Court had commented on cryptocurrency. We are very clear that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will take a call on an official cryptocurrency,” said Sitharaman.
Blockchain technology is a big area and India can hold leverage in this field. Sitharaman said that a lot of fintech companies have progressed with blockchain technology, adding that much work is happening at the state level. “We want to take it in a big way in IFSC or Gift City in Gandhinagar,” she said.
The ministry is planning to have a start-up meet essentially on fintech in Gift City. Sitharaman said that once the Parliament is over, more time will be spent on the execution and planning.
Earlier, MoS for finance Anurag Thakur had said in Parliament that cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies have different definitions around the world. The inter-ministerial committee (IMC), headed by former finance secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, had earlier suggested a bill to ban cryptocurrencies. In a written response to a question in Parliament, Sitharaman said, “The government will make a decision on recommendations of the IMC.”
Thakur has stated that existing laws are inadequate to deal with the subject, adding that the government has formed the IMC, and has furnished its report prior to which there was a meeting of an empowered technology group.