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Cryptocurrency bill in India withheld from parliament

The Cryptocurrency Bill which has been the centre of attention in the crypto community of India for the last few months is going to be withheld in the winter session of the parliament according to a report by CNBC TV on December 20. According to the government sources gathered by CNBC TV, the reason for this is that the government is still gathering information and feedback on international regulations set for crypto in other countries.

Anonymous government source said that ‘the government wants to see how the global standards on cryptocurrencies evolve in the EU (European countries) and other jurisdictions’. The government of India along with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are also consulting the Bank of International Settlement (BIS) headquartered in Basel, Switzerland about the evolving framework of cryptocurrency.

The cryptocurrency bill which was supposed to reach the parliamentary table this winter parliament session has just been sent for approval to the Cabinet earlier this month of December. However, there hasn’t been an official statement by the parliament members involved regarding the state of the bill.  

It had almost been a month ago on November 23, that the Indian government listed the crypto bill on the parliament’s agenda for the winter session. According to the official bulletin posted by the Indian parliament, the crypto bill is established to prohibit all private cryptocurrencies and create a framework for the country’s official digital token that would be issued by RBI. 

The crypto bill is also listed in the agenda for the budget session of 2021 and just like the winter session, it did not get discussion time there either.

The government sources of CNBC TV mentioned that it is unlikely for another meeting to be held regarding crypto unless the bill is introduced in the house despite the first-ever parliamentary panel on cryptocurrency being held earlier November. It is led by Bharatiya Janata Party and the Union Minister Jayant Sinha where the government gathered the views of the crypto exchange representatives as well as the Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC). 

The budget session for 2022 will begin sometime in February and there are still no words on whether the crypto bill would finally be discussed in the parliament. Meanwhile, last December 10, the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modu called for a united effort to shape the global norms for emerging technologies like cryptocurrency during the virtual Summit for Democracy hosted by US President Joe Biden. 

Modi stated ‘we must also jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies so that they are used to empower democracy, not undermine it.’   

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