According to a senior government official, discussions on the proposed legislation, which will initiate a complete ban on the use of cryptocurrency in India, are in their final stages.
As Reuters reported on Monday, trading, mining, issuing and owning cryptocurrencies is expected to be criminalized in India through an upcoming bill. The unnamed official said the law is likely to go to parliament controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
According to the report, the official said that after the six-month grace period expires, fines for breaking the law will be imposed on the sale of cryptoassets. Treasury Minister Anurag Thakur said on March 6 that the government is studying the national security risks associated with cryptocurrencies before deciding to ban them.
The situation is getting terribly confusing for stakeholders in India. On the same day as the Reuters report, the Deccan Herald newspaper quoted Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as saying the government had no plans to completely ban cryptocurrency trading.
“From our side, we understand very clearly that we are not closing all opportunities. We will enable people to experiment with blockchain, bitcoin or cryptocurrency under certain conditions, ”Sitharaman said. She added that the growth of the fintech industry depends on such experimentation, the report said.
The government has been announcing for months that it plans to restrict the private use of cryptocurrency, while providing a legal basis for the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to issue its own central bank’s digital coin.
Last March, the country’s Supreme Court overturned RBI’s 2018 ruling to prohibit financial institutions under its jurisdiction from providing services to cryptocurrency companies.