Members of Parliament from both the government and the Opposition expressed their views on cryptocurrency during a debate on Finance Bill 2022 in the Lok Sabha on Friday, even as they moved to pass proposals that would heavily tax these assets.
Nishikant Dubey, a ruling party MP from the BJP from Godda in Jharkhand, went as far as to say that crypto is used for paying bribes and money laundering.
"Crypto is a threat to the world. We have been talking about crypto since 2012–13, and all RBI governors during this time have said that crypto runs on the darknet (sic), that it represents the future of hawala (money laundering), and that efforts should be made to stop it. In our standing committee report in 2013, we mentioned that cryptocurrencies were a looming threat to the world. But the UPA government didn’t pay attention to it, "he said.
"There are various crypto exchanges now, and the government, the RBI, and the tax department are concerned about how much money has been put into crypto," he added.
Nonetheless, he praised the government's decision in Union Budget 2022 to levy a 30% capital gains tax and a 1% TDS on cryptocurrency.
Elsewhere, BJD Member of Parliament, Pinaki Misra, said that banning crypto would be a step back. Today, banning crypto is equivalent to banning the Internet. So, I am shocked that BJP MP Nishikant Dubey is advocating banning it. The (Crypto) Bill is already one year old. "Get a proper task force with proper professionals, or this bill will be a disaster," he said.
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi said the government should come up with legislation soon to prevent their misuse for purposes such as terror financing and drug smuggling. "The government is giving mixed signals regarding crypto in India," he said.
Supriya Sule from the Nationalist Congress Party questioned why the government had not yet banned cryptocurrency if it were that bad. "Why is the central government not banning crypto if it is not good?" "The government should take strong action on crypto if they are saying that it is bad," she said.
Yesterday, the Centre proposed some changes to Finance Bill 2022. As per one amendment proposed in Section 115 BBH, the word "other" from the provision which deals with the set-off of virtual digital assets losses from gains was to be deleted.
Technically, removing the word means that losses from the transfer or sale of virtual digital assets will not be offset against gains from the transfer of another virtual digital asset.