The Indian government has nearly finished formulating its regulatory guidelines on cryptocurrencies, according to an official from the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA).
The response from the DEA emerged following a Right to Information (RTI) request filed by Coin Crunch India on December 13, 2018, asking whether the panel on cryptocurrency has recommended a ban on bitcoin and if they have submitted the report to the Ministry of Finance.
“The report of the Committee is in the finalisation stage, hence, prohibited under section 8(3) of RTI Act, 2005,” said the DEA.
The Coin Crunch report clarified that “Section 8 of the RTI act allows an entity to withhold the data in certain circumstances,” adding that, “since the report is in deliberation stage, they can withhold the information. They will likely make the decisions public eventually”.
The Indian government set up a panel in December 2017, headed by DEA Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg, to examine a framework for regulating cryptocurrencies. Other members of the panel include Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman Ajay Tyagi and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor BP Kanungo.
As yet, no formal declaration by the Indian government on the legalisation of cryptocurrencies has been made and the DEA response does little to clarify whether it is planning to regulate them or not.
At present, however, cryptocurrencies remain legal in India and it appears that India’s regulators may be hesitant to enact crypto regulations, as a recent statement from the Ministry of Finance explained:
“In absence of a globally acceptable solution and the need to devise [a] technically feasible solution, the department is pursuing the matter with due caution. It is difficult to state a specific timeline to come up with clear recommendations.”