Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting on Saturday to discuss the way forward for cryptocurrency in India, government sources told CNBC-TV18.
During the meeting, it was pointed out that unregulated crypto markets cannot be let to become avenues for money laundering and terror financing, sources said. Concerns over attempts to mislead the youth with over-promising and non-transparent advertising were also raised, they said.
“The government is cognizant of the fact that this is an evolving technology hence the government will keep a close watch and take proactive steps,” sources said.
The key meeting chaired by the PM comes two days after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das reiterated his concerns about cryptocurrency even as he maintained that the final call lies with the government.
"Cryptocurrencies are a very serious concern and we have concerns from macroeconomic and financial stability point of view. RBI has given detailed suggestions to the government and the matter is under active consideration of the government", he had said.
Today’s meeting was an outcome of a consultative process as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Finance Ministry, and Home Ministry carried out an elaborate exercise regarding it and also consulted experts from across the country and the world, according to sources. Global examples and best practices were also looked at.
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There was consensus that the steps taken by the government regarding cryptocurrency will be progressive and forward-looking, sources said, adding that the government will continue to proactively engage with experts and other stakeholders to discuss the issues concerning the digital currency.
Since the issue cuts across individual countries’ borders, it was felt that there will also be a need for global partnerships and collective strategies, they said.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier said a blanket ban on cryptos is off-table and that the government will take a cautious approach. She also pointed to the possibility of the central bank coming up with a "legitimate" cryptocurrency.
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"There will be a very calibrated position taken. A lot of mixed messages are coming from across the world. The world is moving fast with technology, we cannot pretend that we don't want it," she had said.
Sources had earlier this week said the government is likely to move the cryptocurrency bill at the start of the winter session of Parliament.
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(Edited by : Kanishka Sarkar)