Legislators in India are reportedly gearing up to present a cryptocurrency bill that will prohibit the ownership of private digital assets in the country.
According to PRS Legislative Research, a non-profit organization that tracks the activities of the Indian Parliament, the proposed Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill is listed for introduction, consideration and passing.
The proposal aims to facilitate the creation of India’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) and ban private crypto ownership in the country. It provides exceptions, however, for coins that promote the underlying technology of cryptocurrency and its uses.
The bill may be presented during the Parliament’s Monsoon session, which kicks off on July 19th.
The potential tackling of the crypto-focused bill comes amid the massive growth of digital asset investments in India. According to CNBC-TV18, Indians invested $6.60 billion in cryptocurrencies in May, marking a 615% increase from just $923 million in April 2020.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says that a lot of work has already been done on the proposed law, including gathering feedback and views from stakeholders, The Hindu reports.
“The Cabinet note is ready. We have to see when the Cabinet can take it up and consider it so that then we can move it.
From our side, I think one or two indications that I have given is that at least for fintech, experiment and pilot projects a window will be available. The Cabinet will have to take a decision.”
In March, Sitharaman indicated that the Indian government plans to take a more neutral stance on crypto.
“There will be a very calibrated position taken. A lot of mixed messages are coming from across the world. I don’t think there is either a complete, ‘Go this way’ or a complete, ‘Go that way’ in this matter. We will have to take a very calibrated position. The world is moving fast with technology and we can’t pretend that we don’t want it…
We are not closing our minds. We are certainly looking at ways in which experimentation can happen in the digital world and cryptocurrency.”
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