Business Desk: The government on Tuesday clarified that it has no plans to introduce RBI-regulated cryptocurrencies. Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Choudhary expressed the government’s opinion in a written reply to a question on cryptocurrencies in the Rajya Sabha. He said that currently cryptocurrencies are completely unregulated in the country and RBI does not issue any cryptocurrencies of any kind.
Work on the Cryptocurrency Bill continues,
he said, adding that the traditional paper currency is a legal tender issued by the Reserve Bank as per the provisions of the RBI Act, 1994. A digital version of traditional paper currency is called a central bank digital currency (CBDC). He said that a bill on cryptocurrencies is currently pending and it has been in the works for over a year now. However, this bill could not be introduced in the monsoon session and the current budget session due to some reasons. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has also said that the details of this bill will be made public after the approval of the Union Cabinet.
The government is ready for any intervention,
along with the possibility of increasing the prices of petrol and diesel in the country, the Minister of State for Finance said that the government is keeping a close watch on the geopolitical developments developing due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. . He said that the government is ready to take any intervention to keep the fuel prices under control in the interest of the common man. Pankaj Choudhary said that the natural gas, fuel and power subgroups in the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) are directly related to the volatility in crude oil prices. On the question of reduction in excise duty to give relief to the general public on rising fuel prices in the country, he said that the prices of petrol and diesel are fixed by the public sector oil marketing companies.
The Minister further informed the House that with time there has been a decline in the printing of notes. He said notes worth Rs 4,378 crore were printed during 2019-20, while Rs 4,012 crore notes were printed in 2020-21, while Rs 7,965 crore notes were printed in 2016-17.