Crypto bill awaiting approval

157 reports the Indian government conformed in a Right to Information (RTI) reply that inter-ministerial committee cryptocurrency bill is awaiting approval of the government and the bill is currently being examined by various ministries. Since last year while the bill was submitted to the Finance Ministry, the government of India has been sitting on a cryptocurrency draft bill.

In an inter-ministerial committee headed by former finance secretary Subash Chandra Garg a document was drafted which entitled the Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019”. Some media reports say that consultation has begun on this bill while no formal announcement has been made regarding the progress of the bill. Lawyer Muhammed Danish, co-founder of Crypto Kanoon to establish the Veracity of this news filed an RTI application with the Department of Economic Affairs. The department wrote a replay on July 30 “The government has set up an inter-ministerial committee (IMC) to examine the issues of cryptocurrencies under the chairmanship of Secretary (EA)”.

The report of IMC on VCs (Virtual Currencies) has been submitted by its members but is awaiting the approval of the government. Through inter-ministerial consultation by moving a cabinet note in due course, the report and bill are examined by the government. He added that the punishment for every activity from mining, holding, advertising, promoting, buying, selling to produce exchange services are prescribed in the IMC proposal, but in the present form if this bill is converted into law, then no sectors can survive.

He said that the DEA used the word government in its RTI replay to refer to the ministry of finance and not parliament or other cabinet secretariats which means that, this cryptocurrency bill does not conform to the satisfaction of the Finance Ministry. It is unclear and quite premature to predict what the Ministry of Finance will do including whether substantial changes will be made to the bill to reject the idea of a complete ban on cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Danish said that in the present form it seems that the Ministry of Finance does not want to proceed with this crypto bill for parliamentary clearance.

This law can be challenged by crypto business, traders, or enthusiasts, based on various rights available to them under the Indian constitution. Danish tried to point out that under Article 32 they can challenge those laws before the supreme court of India and under Article 226 of the Indian constitutions they can challenge this law before the high courts of India.


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