The Indian government has finally broken its silence regarding the crypto space. Government officials spoke during a sitting on July 16 at the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s parliament. A publication unveiled this news today.
Per the report, legislator Shri Dharmapuri Srinivas asked the Minister of Finance five crypto-related questions. In so doing, he sought to find out the government’s stance on banning of crypto in India.
His first two questions were,
Will the Minister of Finance be pleased to state: (a) whether [the] government has prohibited cryptocurrency in the country; (b) if so, the details thereof.
In response, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, the Minister of Finance simply said,
The Committee Tasked with Drafting Crypto Rules Submitted its Report
Srinivas went on to ask whether the government had noticed the prevalence of crypto in the country.
Replying to this question, Thakur said,
Taking note of the issue, the government has constituted an interministerial committee (IMC) under the chairmanship of Secretary (DA). The IMC has submitted the report to the government.
Finally, Srinivas requested details on how the state had taken action on persons found to be running crypto businesses.
Thakur noted that at the moment, India does not have separate rules for dealing with crypto-related issues. As a result, concerned agencies such as the RBI take action on such individuals based on the current laws.
He went on to state that,
Similarly, police/courts take action on IPC offences. Further, in view of the risks and dangers associated with cryptocurrencies, [the] government and RBI have been issuing advisories, press releases and circulars to the public.
Apart from issuing public warnings about the risks associated with crypto, the RBI also banned regulated entities from providing services to crypto firms. This ban has been active since July 6 last year.
Before the most recent sitting in the upper house, Thakur made similar comments in the lower house. On July 8, the Minister of Finance attended a sitting a Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. S. Gnanathiraviam, a member of parliament asked him whether there was a plan to ban crypto in India.
Thakur noted that,
The issue of permitting trading in cryptocurrencies is currently under examination.
This news comes as the supreme court’s hearing on crypto inches closer. Crypto firms filed a case against the RBI after the agency banned banks from providing services to such firms. The court is set to hear the case on July 23 after postponing it severally. As a result of this ban, at least four top Indian crypto exchanges had to shut down.
Do you think India’s supreme court will rule in favor of the crypto sector in the upcoming hearing? Let us know in the comments below.