PM Modi to Take Final Call on Crypto Regulatory Framework; Draft Bill could Undergo Some Changes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a final decision on the regulatory for cryptocurrencies amid conflicting views among stake holders, two people’s familiar with the development said. A high-level meeting was held on Thursday to consider all the options as also stakeholder’s views including the concern voiced by the Reserve Bank of India.

The options include a complete ban on private cryptocurrencies, a partial ban, allowing all categories of crypto products with regulation, or just a select few with regulation, one of the persons said.

Deliberations are likely to continue on Friday before a decision on the framework is taken, the second person said.

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 is listed for consideration and passing in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

The finance ministry has finalized a draft note on the proposed bill, but sections within the government felt more detailed discussions were needed on the principles underlying the bill and on the board detail of the treatment of virtual currencies by India, the persons said. Discussion are likely to focus on various options and pros and cons of adopting them. “PM will now take a final call on these, “the person said.

The draft bill could undergo some changes after these deliberations the highest level.

The Bill was earlier listed in the last budget sessions as well but could not be introduced as the government decided to rework it.

The proposed Bill also seeks to create a facilitative framework for the creation of an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank. It aims to prohibit private cryptocurrencies in India while allowing for certain exceptions to promote the underlying technology these.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Rajya Sabha last week that the government will bring the Bill to Parliament after the Cabinet clears it.

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