At a post-budget press conference in Mumbai on Saturday, India’s Economic Affairs Secretary Ajay Seth reportedly declared that the country would implement “measures around crypto” this year.
He was quoted by local media as saying: “The technology of crypto assets like blockchain and others can be employed, but its usage in the financial industry can have numerous concerns.” The secretary for economic affairs continued: In India, no one is discussing utilizing cryptocurrency as money. When used as a token, there are risks.
For several years, the Indian government has been developing crypto legislation. In 2019, a draft crypto bill was released, however parliament never took it up. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Indian finance minister, did not mention cryptocurrencies during her Budget statement last week. However, the Finance Bill for this year contains a number of new tax fines linked to cryptocurrency tax deducted at source (TDS). Another important point made in this year’s Economic Survey 2023 was the requirement for “a common approach to regulate the crypto ecosystem.”
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has advocated against cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether on numerous occasions. Shaktikanta Das, governor of the RBI, recently noted that cryptocurrency might weaken the authority of the central bank:
If cryptocurrency is permitted in India, the RBI will no longer be able to supervise transactions. The argument that cryptocurrency is a financial asset is absolutely unfounded. Cryptocurrencies could trigger the next financial catastrophe, according to the governor of the Indian central bank, if they are not outlawed. The central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital rupee, is now being tested by the RBI.
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