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Centre May Introduce Bill On Cryptocurrencies In Parliament’s Winter Session: Report


New Delhi: The Union government is likely to introduce a bill on cryptocurrencies during the winter session of Parliament beginning November 29, sources told news agency PTI on Monday.

The three-week-long winter session is scheduled to be held from November 29 to December 23. Meanwhile, concerns have been raised over cryptocurrencies being allegedly used for luring investors with misleading claims and for funding terror activities.

Presently, there are no particular regulations or any ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.

ALSO READ | Parliamentary Committee Meets Crypto Industry Players, Need For Regulatory Mechanism Emphasised

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, held a meeting on the cryptocurrencies with senior officials and indications are that strong regulatory steps could be taken to deal with the issue, PTI reported.

As per the agency’s sources, the proposed bill would focus on investor protection as cryptocurrencies come under a complex asset class category.

After being cleared by the Union Cabinet, the Centre plans to introduce the bill on cryptocurrencies in the first week of the winter session, they said.

In August, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that she was awaiting approval from the Cabinet on the cryptocurrency bill.

In recent months, both the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) raised concerns about cryptocurrencies.

On Monday, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance discussed the pros and cons of crypto finance with various stakeholders, and several members were in favour of regulating cryptocurrency exchanges rather than an outright ban on such currencies, sources said, as reported by PTI.

According to the agency’s sources, at the meeting convened by PM Modi on Saturday, it was strongly felt that attempts to mislead the youth through over-promising and non-transparent advertising of cryptocurrencies should be stopped.

An inter-ministerial panel on cryptocurrency under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Economic Affairs) had recommended that all currencies except those issued by the state should be banned.

Earlier, RBI had warned that the unregulated growth of cryptocurrencies poses threat to the macroeconomic and financial stability of the country.

Last week, RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das reiterated his views against allowing cryptocurrencies saying they are a serious threat to any financial system since they are unregulated by central banks.

The central bank also plans to introduce an official digital currency.

On March 4, 2020, Supreme Court had set aside an RBI circular of April 6, 2018, prohibiting banks and entities regulated by it from providing services in relation to virtual currencies.

(With Agency Inputs)


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