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Indian lawmakers propose 10-year jail term for dealing in cryptocurrencies: Report

Mon, 10 Jun 2019, 04:06 am UTC

The inter-ministerial committee led by the Indian Department of Economic Affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg has reportedly proposed a draft bill that seeks to make it illegal to hold, sell or deal in cryptocurrencies in the country.

The Economic Times had initially reported in April that the "Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019" was being circulated to relevant government departments.

According to latest reports from the ET and Bloomberg Quint, the draft law has proposed 10-year prison sentence for persons who "mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies.” If passed, the bill would also make holding of cryptocurrencies a non-bailable offence.

Government agencies including the Income Tax Department and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) have endorsed a complete ban on cryptocurrencies over concerns of their potential use for illicit activities such as money laundering, the report said.

While the government seems to be unwavering in its efforts to completely ban cryptocurrencies, the country could have its own national digital currency, according to ET. It quoted an unnamed official saying:

“A decision on the launch of Digital Rupee would be taken after consulting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).”

TokenPost could not verify the story at the time of writing.

Just last week, the RBI denied its knowledge of and involvement in the drafting of the said cryptocurrency ban bill. Responding to a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by an Indian lawyer, the central bank said that it neither received any official written correspondence from other ministerial departments nor sent out official communication to other departments in this matter. It has also denied receiving any communication from the central government in this matter.

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