04-29-2022 icon

We’ll not rush crypto regulation – India’s finance minister

By Lucy Adegbe

India’s finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has said even though the country has plans to regulate cryptocurrency, it would not be rushing into it. The minister said this while discussing digital asset regulation in a chit-chat organized by Stanford University School of Medicine.

She, however, noted that the country will take informed decisions after due deliberations with multilateral sectors of its economy. According to Sitharaman, blockchain has the potential to improve the country’s economy, not just payments but many areas.

“Our intention is in no way to hurt the ecosystem, or to even say that we don’t need it, but to define for ourselves how we need them and in what ways their growth should be facilitated and how we are going to handle it,” she said.

The minister further said that though crypto presents several opportunities, it also comes with unpleasant challenges such as manipulation for money laundering and terrorism financing. This, she said, is a concern for many countries. 

“It has to take its time for all of us to be sure that at least, with the given available information, we are making a discerned decision,” the minister said. “It can’t be rushed.”

Meanwhile, the Indian government has pegged the crypto income tax at 30% and it is expected that by July 1, a 1% TDS (tax deducted at source) will be imposed on all crypto transactions. 

This has repeatedly caused Indians to rant on social media platforms, expressing displeasure and blaming the government for the current brain drain and relocation of major crypto companies out of India.