Meenakshi Lekhi, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs (she is also Minister of State for culture), recently addressed the Global Technology Summit. She said that cryptocurrencies should be blocked if they are used for illegal activities. The illegal activities that she referred to included drug trafficking, malicious cyber attacks, or other illegal and unethical activities. Such activities, she said, undermine India’s sovereignty and integrity.
She added that she expected both the finance and the IT ministries to examine the subject in greater depth.
The Indian government is also in the process of redrafting the crypto bill that is likely to be tabled in the parliament during the ongoing winter session of the parliament.
The minister added that the various crypto platforms and exchanges are managed by individuals who are running them with the intent to avoid tax. She opined that these crypto platforms create wealth in India and take the money overseas without passing on any benefit to India – where the wealth is created.
Crypto legislation is also being examined by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He has chaired several meetings on the subject and is expected to soon take a decision on crypto regulation. He highlighted that crypto regulations should be so framed that cryptocurrencies become a means of strengthening Indian democracy.
Central Bank’s Views
Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Indian government, while planning to regulate cryptocurrencies, also plans to prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies for making payments. India’s central bank- the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – however, is of the opinion that the proposed system of partial bans will not work. The RBI has expressed serious concerns about the use of cryptocurrency in India. During the deliberations of RBI’s central board meeting held recently, it recommended that cryptocurrency must be fully banned.