The Indian government is currently under the process of reviewing a draft for crypto regulations submitted by a specially appointed panel for the same. According to reports, the government has provided an insight into their latest stance for national cryptocurrency and licensing of crypto businesses, to say the least, they are proceeding “with due caution.”
A document circulating on social media, details five questions regarding cryptocurrencies asked by Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament. The document also has their answers by Shri Pon Radhakrishnan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. Furthermore, it is noted that the questions were to be answered on Dec. 28.
The Panel and Regulations
Since the day of announcement of the panel, questions about the composition of the panel established to draft crypto regulations has been plaguing the crypto lovers along with its recommendations, and “the timeline for the expected release of the regulation,”
The minister elaborated about the inter-ministerial committee in the document:
“under the chairmanship of Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, with representatives from concerned departments to study all aspects of cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets including bitcoin.”
The members of the committee include representatives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Securities and Exchange Board of India, and the Central Board of Direct Taxes. The answer to this question reads:
In absense of a globally acceptable solution and the need to devise [a] technically feasible solution, the department is pursuing the matter with due caution. It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.
The document might have been to control the rumor mills making the rounds, a recent report suggested that India might legalize cryptocurrency but under strong regulations, while another suggested a ban on crypto transactions is in the pipeline. Notably, both reports cited anonymous sources.
Regarding the question of legality, the minister wrote:
“The government has not recognized cryptocurrencies as legal tender. The issue of permitting trading in cryptocurrencies is currently under examination by an inter-ministerial committee.”
Furthermore, the government denies keeping track of the value of cryptocurrencies traded by Indian nationals within the country. In response to licensing or authorizing any entities or businesses dealing with bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, the minister confirmed:
No decision on licensing and authorising any entity or company to operate such schemes or deal with bitcoins or any virtual currency has been made as yet.
In the end, the minister went on to reveal that the committee “is examining all issues, including the pros and cons of the introduction of an official digital currency in India.”