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Cryptocurrency: India Set To Regulate Crypto Assets As Commodities

Instead of banning cryptocurrencies as some other countries have done, the Indian government is on its way to regulating cryptocurrency assets as commodities.

According to reports, the Indian government is reportedly planning to introduce cryptocurrency regulation by the time of the next general Budget in February 2022.

India local news outlet (Business Today) reports that the Indian government is planning to introduce cryptocurrency regulation in February next year.

It was gathered that the Finance Ministry officials told Business Today Television that the law for cryptocurrencies would most likely come around by the time of the next general Budget.

According to BTT, ”the Budget 2022-23 is expected to be presented on Feb. 1 during the first half of the parliament’s Budget session, which usually begins in the last week of January.

”The government is likely to regulate cryptocurrencies as an asset class, similar to how commodities are regulated, with appropriate taxation on transactions and gains, the news outlet conveyed. In June, the government reportedly said that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) will oversee regulations for the cryptocurrency sector after crypto is classified as an asset class.”

Bitcoin.com reports that another official told the publication that officials from the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are fine-tuning the regulatory framework for crypto. However, the central bank recently said it still has “serious concerns” about cryptocurrency.

India does not currently regulate the crypto sector directly. The government has been considering a bill titled “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency” that seeks to ban all cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, except state-issued ones. The bill was drafted by an inter-ministerial committee headed by former Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg. It was published in July 2019.

However, recent reports suggest that the government may have moved away from the idea of banning cryptocurrencies. In July, the finance minister said that the crypto bill was ready for Cabinet. The chairman of India’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance explained in September that cryptocurrency legislation in India will be “distinct and unique.”

The CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Wazirx, Nischal Shetty, commented on the upcoming Indian crypto regulation:

Great to hear that India plans to bring in a crypto regulation bill next year. Crypto has reached a stage where countries no longer talk about a ban. It’s now about ‘How to regulate.’

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