India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has answered some questions regarding cryptocurrency in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of India’s parliament. The questions include measures the government plans to impose on the crypto industry.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Answers Crypto Questions in Parliament
The Indian finance minister answered four questions Tuesday in Rajya Sabha regarding the “trading in cryptocurrency,” including measures outlined in the crypto bill.
Minister Sushil Kumar Modi asked the minister of finance whether “a ban was imposed on bitcoin trading in 2018,” which was later lifted by the supreme court, whether other cryptocurrencies are still banned, and whether “despite the ban, illegal trading of cryptocurrency is still being done on a large scale.”
To these questions, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman replied: “In view of the risks associated with virtual currencies (VCs), including bitcoins, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), vide circular dated April 6, 2018, had advised all the entities regulated by it not to deal in VCs or provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling VCs.” She confirmed:
However, the honorable supreme court, vide judgment dated March 4, 2020 … had set aside the above circular dated April 6, 2018.
The last question reads, “By when government proposes to issue strict guidelines in this regard keeping in view the risk involved therein?” The finance minister proceeded to provide a long answer, similar to the first part of one of the answers provided last week by Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur.
Quoting the Budget Speech of 2018-2019, Sitharaman said: “The government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system. The government will explore use of blockchain technology…