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Govt doesn’t collect data on Bitcoin transactions, says FinMin to Lok Sabha

Govt doesn’t collect data on Bitcoin transactions, says FinMin to Lok Sabha

“Govt of India does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions. No proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country,” Finance Ministry told the lower house in a written reply.

'No proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency', says FinMin 'No proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency', says FinMin

The Finance Ministry said that the Government of India (GoI) does not collect data on the number and quantum of Bitcoin transactions throughout the country. It also stated that there is no proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in India.

“Govt of India does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions. No proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country,” Finance Ministry told the lower house in a written reply.

When she was asked whether the government has any proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said “No, sir”. The remark comes as the government is planning to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currrency Bill, 2021.

This Bill seeks to ban all but a few private cryptocurrencies to promote underlying technologies while also providing a framework to the RBI to roll out official digital currency. Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows people to buy goods and services without utilsing banks, credit card issuers or other third parties.

This is also reportedly the first decentralised digital currency where peer-to-peer transactions take place without any intermediary. It was introduced by an unidentified group of programmers in 2008 as a cryptocurrency as well as an electronic payment system.

Meanwhile, the Union Finance Minister also mentioned that ministries and departments have spent Rs 2.29 lakh crore as capital expenditure (capex) during the April-September period during the current fiscal, which is 41 percent of the Budget Estimate (BE) of Rs 5.54 lakh crore for 2021-22. The actual expenditure during current fiscal is ~38 percent higher than the corresponding expenditure in FY2020-21.

She said the Government has also rolled out the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with projected investment of Rs 111 lakh crore during the period 2020-25 to provide world-class infrastructure all over India and improve the quality of life for citizens. Another aim of the NIP is to accelerate capex for creation and upgradation of infrastructure. This, in turn, will help attract investments into infrastructure, improve project preparation and play pivotal role in economic growth, as per FM Sitharaman. NIP’s ambit has been expanded to more than 9,000 projects from the earlier 6,835 projects covering 34 sub-sectors.

She also talked at length about the National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) and the Gati Shakti (National Master Plan for Infrastructure Development) which were launched on August 23 and October 13 this year respectively.

“The uptrend in inflation has been largely led by exogenous factors viz. increased international prices of crude oil and edible oils which have an impact on domestic inflation due to India’s import dependence on these items,” Sitharaman said in the price inflation of essential commodities. The Union Minister also attributed the rise in WPI inflation to increase in global prices of crude oil and increase in international commodity/input prices.

She also underlined the measures taken by the Government to ease the impact of rising oil prices on consumers. The Centre has reduced excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively w.e.f. November 4, 2021. As an additional measure to sober down prices, India has agreed to release 5 million barrels of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) in line with major energy consumers like the USA, China, Japan and Korea.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published on: Nov 29, 2021, 1:00 PM IST
Posted by: Mehak Agarwal, Nov 29, 2021, 12:58 PM IST