India’s highly anticipated crypto regulation bill probably won’t be introduced to Parliament until next year’s session begins in late January or early February, several media outlets have reported today.
- Media reports citing sources said the crypto bill is not on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting scheduled for today.
- The process requires the draft bill to be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration before introduction in parliament. With no Cabinet approval this week, time is running out for the bill to be introduced in this session of parliament, which ends Dec. 23.
- The next Cabinet meeting is on Dec. 22, and therefore it is highly unlikely that the crypto bill will get cabinet approval and then also be introduced in parliament.
- The bill is also unlikely to be introduced in parliament in this session as the government is considering changes to the proposed bill in a fast evolving space, CoinDesk has learned.
- This does not completely rule out the possibility of crypto regulations in the near future and even before the next session of parliament. The government has the option of promulgating an ordinance instead of presenting the bill in parliament first if it determines that the need has arisen.
- CoinDesk has learned that the Cabinet has already had informal discussions around the draft bill and that once the bill is tabled in front of cabinet, and then approved, it is likely to go to the standing committee on finance in parliament for further scrutiny and discussions.
- Policy experts have indicated to CoinDesk the bill is unlikely to be introduced in this session of parliament, as the crypto space is fast evolving and the framework of the bill requires further consultations.
- On Dec. 11, at the virtual Summit for Democracy hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said We must also jointly shape global norms for emerging technologies like social media and cryptocurrencies so that they are used to empower democracy, not to undermine it.
- The Economic Times quoted an unnamed senior Indian government official as saying, The official said After several rounds of discussions at the highest levels, it was felt that any legislation surrounding cryptocurrency must be in tandem with a global framework which is still evolving. It might be a better strategy to wait and observe how this space evolves globally.
- The crypto bill has been listed for the ongoing winter session of parliament and was also listed in the last budget session but has not been introduced in either session.
UPDATE (Dec. 15, 10:07 UTC): Adds additional information about Cabinet discussions on bill in sixth bullet point.