Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Rajya Sabha on July 27 that the Indian government does not have data on the cryptocurrency market and has no idea how many active cryptocurrency exchange platforms or users there are in the country, in response to a question from Rajya Sabha MP and former Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi. The finance minister went on to say that the ministry has received no information on whether some of these trades are linked to narcotics smuggling or financial fraud.
In answer to Modi’s inquiry regarding active platforms in the nation, Sitharaman stated, “This information is not collected by the government.”
The Indian government initially took a hard line against cryptocurrencies, but it has softened in recent months as the use of digital currencies has grown in the country.
Investors who acquired cryptocurrencies outside of India may not have to pay an equalization charge, according to the finance minister. Modi questioned her on the matter. Former Bihar deputy chief minister questioned whether the government plans to charge an equalization tax on investors who acquired cryptocurrencies from other countries.
“Equalisation levy is imposed on the e-commerce operator, not the investor,” Sitharaman responded.
Whereas the government may lack information on cryptocurrency exchange platforms and active users, the crypto sector estimates that over 1.5 million people have purchased cryptocurrencies worth Rs 15,000 crore. As a result, it’s reasonable to infer that the number of crypto investors is fast increasing.
The Indian government had planned to outlaw cryptocurrencies earlier this year, and a Cryptocurrency Bill was scheduled to be tabled during the Budget session. It was postponed until a committee was formed and more conversations with industry stakeholders were undertaken.
The bill is also uncertain to be introduced in Parliament’s monsoon session. Because the government wants to make a well-informed judgment on cryptocurrencies, this is the case.
According to previous reports, the government is contemplating classifying cryptocurrencies as digital assets rather than outright banning them. The government may appear to be flexible when it comes to cryptocurrencies, but it still confronts enormous obstacles from all sides.