The vivid debate surrounding India’s forthcoming crypto legislation has taken another turn as the country’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that the bill is unlikely to be discussed during the parliament’s ongoing budget 2022 session that is to end on April 8.
Sitharaman confirmed earlier plans to impose a new 30% tax on gains from crypto transfers, but said the bill’s provisions are currently undergoing consultations with various stakeholders.
“The government of India observed a robust rise in the transactions of private crypto assets, which generated a certain gain and thus decided to tax the profits,” she was quoted as saying by The Economic Times.
Once the consultations are completed, the Indian cabinet will present the draft bill and the timeline for its potential adoption by the country’s parliament, according to the minister.
Sitharaman has also commented on the government’s plans to introduce a 1% tax deducted at source (TDS) rate which would allow the authorities to collect a levy at the source from where an individual’s income is created for crypto transfers that pass a threshold that is to be determined.
“The government will also track the money trail in crypto deals and every transaction will have 1% TDS imposed, taxing every transaction in the crypto world,” she said.
Meanwhile, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi presented his stance on the planned central bank digital currency (CBDC), the digital rupee, that is expected to be rolled out by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the country’s central bank, in the years 2022 to 2023.
“The RBI-backed CBDC will be controlled and monitored by the central bank and it will be a digital avatar of India’s fiat currency. The digital payments and online transfer of funds will be more safe, secure and risk-free,” the prime minister was quoted as saying.
At the same time, Indian Finance Secretary T. V. Somanathan told local news agency ANI that the digital rupee would remain the country’s only digital legal tender.
Other digital currencies and cryptos “will never become legal tender. Bitcoin, ethereum, or any picture of [an] actor [turned into an] NFT will never become a legal tender,” he said.
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