The Indian government is currently carrying out inter-ministerial consultations regarding a draft bill dubbed “Banning of Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies Bill 2019,” according to the report by Economic Times today.
Citing sources familiar with the case, ET reports that the proposed bill to ban public cryptocurrencies and regulate official digital currencies is now circulated to major government departments.
The said bill is likely the work of a Finance Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg-led panel established by the Indian government last year to draft regulations for the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
So far, the sources confirm that representatives of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA), and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) have shown support for the move to official ban cryptocurrencies.
The government officials point to the fact that cryptos can be used for money laundering as evidence that it should be banned completely in line with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The decisions taken by the Indian Ministries will now form the basis of a final law that lawmakers will present to whoever emerges winner at the country’s election coming up next month.
For the time being, the sources said the officials approved that cryptocurrency fraudsters and launders be prosecuted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) until the bill is actually implemented.
Earlier this year, Coinfomania reported efforts by Indian banks to prevent the adoption of cryptocurrencies. Customers were forcefully asked never to deal on Bitcoins if they still want to operate their bank accounts.
Also, despite a purported four-week deadline given to the Indian government to create crypto regulations, it has taken so long to arrive and may eventually pronounce the use of cryptocurrencies as illegal in the country.