The Indian government has answered three sets of questions in parliament on bitcoin transactions, the high-profile bitcoin fraud in Karnataka, and the legality of cryptocurrency trading and cryptocurrency exchanges in India. Meanwhile, the winter session of parliament has begun and a crypto bill is expected to be taken during this session.
Indian Government Answers Questions About Bitcoin Transactions
On Monday, the Indian Ministry of Finance answered three sets of questions about bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading in Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament.
The first set of questions (Stared Question No. 12), titled “Bitcoin Transactions,” asks Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman “whether the government is aware that a bitcoin transaction has been silently flourishing in India in recent years.” The finance minister 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 a currency in the country.” She simply replied, “No, sir.”
Questions About the Bitcoin Fraud in Karnataka
The second set of questions (Unstarred Question No. 196) is about the high-profile “Bitcoin Scam in Karnataka,” which has recently received heavy media coverage. The case was even presented by Karnataka Prime Minister Basavaraj Bommai during his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The finance minister was asked about the fraud and details of the investigation and action taking.
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Shri Pankaj Chaudhary, responded: “Information in the public domain suggests that a case of cybercrime involving bitcoin has been examined by the Karnataka police … However, a case has also been registered by Bangalore Zonal Unit. Direction of Enforcement. Further disclosure of information in the matter is not in the greater general interest. “
Questions About the Legality of Cryptocurrency Trading and Cryptocurrency Exchanges in India
The third set of questions (Unstarred Question No. 173), titled “Cryptocurrency,” asks the finance minister “whether the government is aware of the cryptocurrencies traded in India.” Minister Chaudhary replied:
Government does not collect information on cryptocurrency trading.
The finance minister was also asked whether cryptocurrency trading is allowed in India and whether cryptocurrencies are legal entities in the country. In addition, she was asked to detail any Actions applicable to cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Minister Chaudhary replied: “Cryptocurrencies are unregulated in India. RBI [the Reserve Bank of India] published its circular of May 31, 2021, advised its regulated entities to continue to carry out customer due diligence processes in accordance with regulations governing standards to know your customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML), combat terrorist financing. (CFT) and obligations of regulated entities under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, (PMLA), 2002 in addition to ensuring compliance with significant provisions under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) for foreign remittances. “
Winter Session of Parliament Begins
The winter session of parliament began on Monday. A cryptocurrency bill is listed to be taken during this session. However, the bill is not listed on the agenda for Monday or Tuesday.
“The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021” aims to “ban all private cryptocurrencies in India, however it allows some exceptions to promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses”, according to the legislative agenda for the winter session. of Lok Sabha.
The bill also provides a “facilitating framework for creating the official digital currency issued by the Reserve Bank of India.” The RBI has previously said it is working on a digital rupee, which it plans to launch in phases.
The Indian government has not released the contents of the crypto bill, which has caused a lot of speculation about whether the government will ban cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ether, or provide a regulatory framework for them.
What do you think of the Indian government’s responses? Let us know in the comments section below.
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