The what, when and why of crypto Bill: Nirmala Sitharaman answers
- Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke about the upcoming cryptocurrency legislation in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday
- On Monday, Sitharaman said that the government has no plans to recognise Bitcoin as currency
- The cryptocurrency Bill is scheduled to be tabled in the winter session of Parliament
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman addressed concerns about the new cryptocurrency Bill to be tabled in Parliament in course of the winter session that went underway in November 29. The Bill on Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency is part of Lok Sabha Bulletin-Part II.
Sitharaman said in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday that the risk of cryptocurrency and it going in the wrong hands is being monitored. The finance minister’s comments on cryptocurrency come only a day after she categorically stated that the Indian government has no plans to recognise Bitcoin as currency.
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill seeks to create a facilitative framework for the creation of the official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India.
Further, the new Bill also seeks impose a ban on all private cryptocurrencies. The minister told the Rajya Sabha that the proposed legislation is likely to be introduced soon.
Upon being enquired about an earlier cryptocurrency regulation Bill that was scheduled to be tabled in the monsoon session, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “The earlier attempt was definitely to come up with a Bill that the House can consider. But, later, because rapidly a lot of things had come into play, we had started working on a new Bill.”
“This is the Bill that is now being proposed,” Sitharaman said adding that the government had made a “genuine attempt” to bring the Bill before the Parliament even in the previous session.
On a question about whether the government is considering a ban on cryptocurrency advertisements, the finance minister said that the guidelines of the Advertising Standards Council of India are being studies and their regulations are being looked into “so that we can take, if necessary, some kind of position or a decision on how we can handle it”.
She further said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Bank of India (SEBI) are taking steps to make people aware of the risks of cryptocurrency.