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Budget 2022: Is crypto now legal in India, Congress asks after Nirmala Sitharaman announcement

What about regulation of crypto exchanges, asked Randeep Surjewala

Cryptocurrency Representational image | Reuters

In the Union Budget 2022 address, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that any income from virtual or digital assets would be taxed at 30 per cent. This would include cryptocurrencies and various other forms of popular virtual assets. So far, cryptocurrencies have been in a weird grey area in India, not illegal yet completely unregulated. So, what does the latest announcement mean?

The Congress questioned whether crypto is now legal in India. Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted: "Ms Finance Minister, please do tell the nation. Is cryptocurrency now legal, without bringing the Cryptocurrency Bill, as you tax the cryptocurrency? What about its regulator? What about regulation of crypto exchanges? What about investor protection?"

The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021, was listed for introduction in the Lok Sabha in the earlier winter session, but did not come through.

Notably, there have been a rising number of advertisements, featuring even film stars, promising easy and high returns on investments in cryptocurrencies in recent times. Currently, there is no regulation or any ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country. Against this backdrop, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, last week, held a meeting on cryptocurrencies with senior officials and indications are that strong regulatory steps could be taken to deal with the issue.

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