The Indian government answered three sets of questions in the parliament regarding the legality of Bitcoin transactions, the high-profile Bitcoin scams in Karnataka, and the legality of cryptocurrency transactions and cryptocurrency exchanges in India. At the same time, the parliamentary winter session has begun, and it is expected that the encryption bill will be considered during this session.
The Indian government answers questions about Bitcoin transactions
On Monday, the Indian Ministry of Finance answered three sets of questions about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions in Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Indian Parliament.
The first set of questions (star question No. 12) is entitled “Bitcoin transactions” and asked the Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman, “Is the government aware of the quiet rise of Bitcoin transactions in India in recent years.” The Minister of Finance replied:
The government does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions.
Finance Minister Sitharaman was further asked “whether the government has any proposal to recognize Bitcoin as the country’s currency.” She simply replied: “No, sir.”
Questions about the Karnataka Bitcoin scam
The second set of questions (unstarred question No. 196) is about the high-profile “Bitcoin scam in Karnataka”, which has recently received a lot of media coverage. The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Basavaraji Bomai, even raised the case during a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Minister of Finance was asked for detailed information about the scam and the investigations and actions being taken.
The Minister of State of the Ministry of Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary replied: “Information in the public domain indicates that the Karnataka police is reviewing a cybercrime case involving Bitcoin… However, the Bangalore district unit has also registered a case with the Law Enforcement Bureau. Further disclosure of this information is not in the greater public interest.”
Questions about the legality of cryptocurrency trading and cryptocurrency exchanges in India
The third set of questions (Unstarred Question No. 173) is entitled “Cryptocurrency” and asked the Minister of Finance “Does the government know about cryptocurrencies traded in India.” Minister Chowdhury responded:
The government does not collect information about cryptocurrency transactions.
The Finance Minister was also asked whether India allows cryptocurrency trading and whether cryptocurrency exchanges are legal entities in the country. In addition, she was asked to elaborate on any bills that apply to cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Minister Chaudhary replied: “Cryptocurrencies are not regulated in India. The Reserve Bank of India [the Reserve Bank of India] The notice issued on May 31, 2021 recommends that its regulated entities continue to carry out customer due diligence procedures (CFT) in accordance with regulations such as Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and combating the financing of terrorism. And the obligations of regulated entities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) of 2002, in addition to ensuring compliance with the relevant provisions of the Foreign Exchange Administration Act (FEMA) regarding overseas remittances. “
The winter meeting of the parliament begins
The winter meeting of the parliament began on Monday. Lists the cryptocurrency bills that will be discussed during this meeting. However, the bill was not included on Monday or Tuesday’s agenda.
According to the legislative agenda of the Winter Conference, the “Cryptocurrency and Regulation of the Official Digital Currency Act of 2021” aims to “ban all private cryptocurrencies in India, however, it allows certain exceptions to promote the basic technology and use of cryptocurrencies” Lok Sabha.
The bill also provides “a convenient framework for the creation of an official digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India.” The Reserve Bank of India has previously stated that it is studying a digital rupee that it plans to roll out in phases.
The Indian government has not disclosed the contents of the encryption bill, which has sparked a lot of speculation about whether the government will ban or provide a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
What do you think of the Indian government’s answer? Please let us know in the comments section below.
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