New India Express, has reported that the country’s government has set up a second interdisciplinary committee to look into the possibility of making cryptocurrencies legal in the country again but with more stringent rules.
The surprise U-turn is coming after a panel set up by the government proposed the creation of a new regulatory framework within the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that bans digital assets and declares crypto transactions illegal in India.
This was made known by a senior government official, who does not want his name mentioned, according to him, the committee had met twice, but deliberations were still ongoing. “We have already had two meetings. There is a general consensus that cryptocurrency cannot be dismissed as completely illegal. It needs to be legalized with strong riders. Deliberations are on. We will have more clarity soon.”
It would be recalled the first interdisciplinary committee on cryptocurrency was set up by the government of India back in March 2017, which includes officials from the Ministry of Finance, with banks and state department also included.
The report from the committee was not favorable for cryptocurrcy development in the country, as the RBI directed all banks and other financial entities in the country to refrain from transacting with digital assets.
However, the second committee, which was convened by the Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs, Subhash Chandra Garg, was set up with the aim of reviewing the resolutions of the first committee and look into the viability of cryptocurrencies for the Indian economy.
Some members of the second committee also attended the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where crypto measures such as taxation and increased regulation to combat the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering were discussed.
More so, the members would be meeting in January, 2019 to deliberate on some of the insights gained from the summit, before presenting its recommendations to the government.
“We have also taken inputs from cryptocurrency exchanges and experts and will be examining legal issues with the law ministry. It’s a complicated issue. Once all aspects are decided, then we will have more clarity,” the senior official explained in the report.
While it is believed that the committee would suggest softening the stance on cryptocurrencies, local government authorities have not been handling the sector with kid gloves since the ban was enforced.
It would be recalled that earlier this year, the developers of India’s first bitcoin automated teller machine (ATM) and the founders of the country’s first crypto exchange, Unocoin, were arrested by local Bangalore authorities on criminal charges, including criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery.