Sunday, February 5, 2023

Indian Finance Ministry Does Not Collect Information On No. Crypto Exchanges And Investors

The Indian Government does not have proper information regarding the number of crypto exchanges and investors in the country, said Nirmala Sitharam, Finance Minister.

On July 27, while addressing the monsoon session, Sitharaman told Rajya Sabha that presently they are not sure whether any of the exchanges in the country are involved in narcotic drug trafficking or money laundering. 

Recently, the Rajya Sabha MP and former deputy chief minister of Bihar, Sushil Kumar Modi, asked Sitharaman about the number of operational crypto exchanges and investors in the country, to which she said, “This information is not collected by the Government.”

Modi further asked whether the center would impose an equalization tax on those investors who purchase the crypto assets from foreign countries. Regarding this, the Finance Minister of India stated that the government imposes an equalization levy only on e-commerce operators, not on the investors.

As per crypto exchanges data, around 1.5 crore Indian investors have bought cryptocurrencies worth Rs. 15,000 crore. Also, there are 350 startups that are being operated in the blockchain and crypto space.

According to the reports, the government earlier planned to present the cryptocurrency bill during this Monsoon Session of Parliament, but couldn’t do so. 

Even though the government drafts the bill on time, its further deliberation is still being held between the Finance Ministry, Reserve Bank of India, banks and other stakeholders.

The government needs to take a considerate decision on cryptocurrency.

It has been mentioned in the report that the government would not ban digital assets completely, but it, also, won’t accept cryptocurrencies as legal tender in the country. Instead, these virtual assets would be treated as a tradable asset class with a market.

Another reason for not presenting the crypto bill in the Parliament is that the government does not consider it as an important matter, currently. 

The government believes that there are other important bills which needed to be presented in Parliament.

While the Lok Sabha approved the Factoring Regulation Amendment Bill, Sitharaman presented amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code.

In the future sessions of the Parliament, the government might present a few other bills like Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Amendment Bill, amendments to the law governing chartered accountants and company secretaries, and amendments to the PFRDA Act and DICGC Act, also the Electricity Amendment Bill.

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