The crypto industry has faced some of the worst administration issues in India, where the problems for the industry doesn’t seem to end anytime soon. A bill was put forward in the parliament in February 2019, proposing a ban on crypto and related activities in the country, though it hasn’t been approved by the Government yet. There were reports in the mainstream media that claimed that a cabinet note has been submitted to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Ministry of Finance, by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC), which also recommended a ban.
To get the accurate information regarding the cabinet note, Adv Mohammed Danish, co-founder of Crypto Kanoon filed an RTI with the DEA, seeking information regarding the issue. In the RTI, three questions were asked by the applicant:
- Has any cabinet note been sent for inter-ministerial consultation on the legal framework of cryptocurrencies/virtual currencies?
- Does this cabinet note seek inter-ministerial consultation on Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019? If not, what is the purpose of this cabinet note?
- Does this cabinet note include any prescribed time period of reply?
The crypto news platform informed on Tuesday that they have received a reply from the DEA, adding that the government is not satisfied with the crypto banning bill proposed by the Garg committee.
#RTI response from Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) indicates:
👉 🇮🇳 Govt. is not satisfied with the Crypto banning bill proposed by Garg Committee.
— Crypto Kanoon (@cryptokanoon) July 28, 2020
Kashif Raza, co-founder of Crypto Kanoon released a video on YouTube, explaining the reply received by the DEA. The DEA said in the reply that a report has been submitted by the IMC on VCs by its members, though it hasn’t been approved by the government. This particular point, that the report hasn’t been approved by the Government even after a year and a half of placing the crypto banning bill, is the silver lining for the crypto industry, Kashif said in his video.
However, from an outsider’s perspective, the analogy that the government is not satisfied with the bill simply because it hasn’t approved it yet is not very convincing. There have been instances where bills were approved by the parliament even after a year or two since they were placed. Also, 2019 was the year of the general election, which was conducted in May. Besides, some of the major and controversial decisions like the abolishing of Article 370 & Article 35A, the introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, were taken during the second half of 2019, what followed, was the Coronavirus Pandemic, which has stalled all kinds of government procedures for the last 5-6 months.
The DEA further said in the reply that “the Report and Bill (will) now be examined by the Government through the inter-ministerial consultation by moving a Cabinet Note in due course.” It further added that it cannot share the content of the cabinet note in the public domain, citing Section 8(1)(i) of the RTI Act.
You can view the video shared by Kashif Raza here.