Saturday, February 4, 2023

Indian Government Plans To Formulate A New Crypto Committee

The Indian Government is planning to form a new cryptocurrency committee that could explore the possibilities of regulating the digital assets in the country, told the three sources privy to the discussion. 

India did have a crypto committee earlier to regulate cryptocurrency trading. That panel was being headed by the former finance secretary of India Subhash Garg, who recommended imposing a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies in 2019. However, now the government believes that the previous recommendation has become outdated and this is the time to evaluate the matter freshly, therefore, it could form a new panel to look after that.

As per the report, the new panel of experts would seek the use of blockchain for improving the technology and propose a plan for regulating cryptos as digital assets and not currency.

The committed might also work on the digital rupee program, which was proposed by the Reserve Bank of India and suggest some approaches for its operation.

One of the officials, who has been the part of the discussion, has recently said, “There is a view within the government that the recommendations made by the Subhash Garg are dated and a fresh look is needed at use of cryptos rather than a total ban.”

Notably, the government is at the initial stage of its discussion, currently. It has not passed any formal resolution yet.

According to the sources, for quite a long time, the finance ministry has been monitoring the crypto trading growth in India. It has also held a discussion with the stakeholders regarding the supervisory risks the cryptocurrency possesses.

The Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Anurag Thakur, has been looking into this matter for quite a while. He even held a meeting with the members of the crypto and banking industry. 

The report suggests that Thakur might be one of many members of the new committee. Also, the new panel could have members from the opposition party in India.

By the end of this month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s team might brief her about further development in the cryptocurrency industry.  

Till press time, neither the Ministry of Finance nor the office of Anurag Thakur shared their views on the matter.

During the budget session, both Sitharaman and Thakur stated that despite banning cryptocurrency in the country, the government would seek a calibrated approach to regulate cryptocurrency.

The Ministry of Finance scheduled to present the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Digital Currency Bill, 2021 in Parliament during the Budget Session. But due to some reasons, it was postponed.

Now, it is being speculated that in the upcoming monsoon session the committee would present a bill, which is based on the Garg Committee recommendation.

In 2018, the RBI imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading. Later, the Indian crypto entrepreneurs and technology and internet industry association (IAMAI) filed a petition in the court against the ban. After the discussion on the matter, in the year 2020, the Supreme Court of India revoked the ban and allowed the banks to deal in cryptocurrency. 

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