As mentioned earlier this year around March 2021, India has prepared and continues to work on a legally pertaining framework to regulate the cryptocurrency. The bill earlier in 2019 was named as “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulations of Official Digital Currency bill, 2019”. Which took around two years to get completed as a draft. The finance minister of India, Nirmala Sitharaman had previously in June said in an interview hinting that the Indian Crypto Bill is ready to be presented in the next session of the Parliament. However, it seems there has been a change of plans and the previously proposed initiative is not taking place. The cabinet has left out the Indian crypto bill to be discussed in the Budget session of the Monsoon Session in the Lok Sabha.
What Could Be The Plausible Reasons Behind Leaving Out The Indian Crypto Bill?
The much-awaited Indian crypto bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament, which is starting from next week, 19 July 2021, got declined from being discussed. This has been excused as many official commentators justify this decision due to the narrowing down of the time in Lok Sabha, Parliament for the second wave of Covid-19.
Officials were asked whether the citizens expect it to be presented and discussed during the winter session of the Lok Sabha this year or whenever the next session will be held. There was no reply to this concern.
In an interview by Business Insider, “The government seems to be still in the process of determining the way forward, which may be through either an existing committee or a new one with industry consultation where required.” a statement made by Ramesh Kailasam, the CEO of IndiaTech. He suggests that the strict Indian crypto bill may not be considered suitable anymore to be passed as a draft in the parliament.
Indians regardless of any regulations have taken the cryptocurrency market investment into their control, just like many other countries India doesn’t want to lose control of its monetary authorities. But previously, they hinted to plan an umbrella ban on private cryptocurrencies, which is unlikely to occur now according to many financial and tech experts. It seems India is determined to accommodate the cryptocurrency system and take softer stances upon it.
It is also being determined whether an entity bureau needs to be created to regulate cryptocurrency in India. (Data quoted from Business Insiders), “Any regulation around cryptocurrencies will require participation from multiple ministries. The earlier committee, headed by the former Finance Secretary Subhash Garg, had stakeholders from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), and the RBI.”
Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, and her team have prepared the Regulation of Digital Asset draft, also called the Indian Crypto Bill. However, it seems the cabinet ministers (the highest regulating body in the execution sector) didn’t review the draft bill. Instead, it will be amended and updated before being reviewed by the cabinet, then it will be introduced to the investors and stakeholders to note any comment or suggestion (constructive criticism) made by them. After crossing all these levels, it will be finally presented in the Parliament for discussion and debates.
What Did The Crypto Bill/ Regulation of Digital Assets Propose?
In a news piece by NEWS18, quoting directly, “In a bulletin for the Budget Session prepared by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Bill’s key purpose was described to be the “creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India”. It was also stated that the Bill “seeks to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies in India”.
“News agency Reuters had cited an unnamed government source to report during the Budget Session said that the Bill would represent in the Monsoon Session, “one of the world’s strictest policies against cryptocurrencies (and) would criminalize possession, issuance, mining, trading and transferring crypto-assets”. It said that in such an event, investors would be given a window to dispose of their crypto holdings following which penalties will be introduced.”
RBI and the Finance Ministry are focused on preparing a bill that will suit every aspect of the Indian society of investors and stakeholders. Determined to not take any extremist action towards cryptocurrency investment, yet taking a milder decision to accommodate the regulatory framework along with embracing the technology.