The Financial Minister Nirmala Sitharaman repeatedly gave hints regarding the Cryptocurrency Bill, which is yet to be approved by the Union Cabinet, India’s highest decision-making body, before introducing it into the Parliament.
The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019, has been mentioned previously before the monsoon session in July during this year.
In an interview with The Hindu, she stated that “We have done a lot of work on it. We have taken stakeholders’ inputs. The Cabinet note is ready. We have to see when the Cabinet can take it up and consider it so that then we can move it”. There is no clarity regarding the discussion of the bill during the Monsoon Session, as the session was cut short because of the covid-19 second wave.
An insider has mentioned to the Business Insider that the cabinet is thinking about crypto adoption and its awareness within the people of the country. This means there might be a greater possibility that the Union Cabinet might not approve the bill in this present situation.
If the bill doesn’t get approved by the Union Cabinet, a new one has to be drafted from the scratch all over again.
Preparation of the bill:
A committee of Ministers will be given the responsibility to draft the bill, which will be headed by one or multiple ministers. Currently, the Ministry of Finance Department of Economic Affairs is the in-charge while the other sectors like the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Reserve Bank of India are also part of the committee.
The Financial Minister needs to approve the bill once it is drafted. If the Financial Minister approves of the bill, it is passed on to the Ministry of Law to ensure if all the requirements are ticked off properly with no errors.
After clearing all these rounds, the Cryptocurrency bill is passed onto the cabinet of ministers to discuss and approve. If any changes, it is sent back to the Financial Minister. Then the drafted bill is presented in the lower house, Lok Sabha and then to the upper house, Rajya Sabha. Even after the bill is passed, approval from the president is a must for the bill to come into effect.
The bill has to cross few hurdles even if the bill gets approved by the Cabinet. “The government seems to look at this afresh considering that there needs to be a different take on how to regulate cryptocurrencies rather than push for an outright ban,” said Kailasam, CEO of IndiaTech.