Considering cryptocurrencies can be widely misused, India will take a considerate decision on regulation around it without hurting innovation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman conveyed during an interaction at Stanford University.
“It will have to take its time…all of us to be sure that at least with a given available information, we’re taking the decern decision. It can’t be rushed through,” FM Sitharaman said pointing out that in absence of proper regulation cryptocurrencies can also be manipulated for money laundering or terror financing.
“So, these are some of the concerns, not just India, but many countries of the world have and are also discussed in global, multilateral platforms.”
Noting that the government is open to innovation, she said, “So, our intention is in no way to hurt this (innovation around crypto)…but (we need to) define for ourselves…”
India is planning to introduce central bank-backed digital currency or Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). Announcing the same in her budget speech, the finance minister had said, “The digital rupee or CBDC would be issued by the RBI in the coming fiscal year.”
A 30% tax will be levied on gains made from any other private digital assets from April 1, she also announced.
On the merger of HDFC and HDFC Bank, Sitharaman said, it is a good step because India needs a lot more big banks to take care of growing needs for infra financing.
Earlier this month, India’s largest private lender HDFC Bank agreed to take over the biggest domestic mortgage lender in a deal valued at about USD 40 billion, creating a financial services titan in the largest deal in the country’s corporate history.
The proposed entity will have a combined asset base of around ₹18 lakh crore. The merger is expected to be completed by the second or third quarter of FY24, subject to regulatory approvals.
The transaction involves the amalgamation of HDFC and its two wholly-owned subsidiaries HDFC Holdings and HDFC Investments with HDFC Bank.
(With inputs from agencies)