A high-level committee suggested that all the private cryptocurrencies, except any virtual currencies issued by state, will be prohibited in India, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Tuesday.

In a reply to a question in Rajya Sabha whether central government is planning to issue strict guidelines on cryptocurrency trading, Sitharaman said, “A high-level Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) constituted under the Chairmanship of Secretary (Economic Affairs) to study the issues related to virtual currencies and propose specific actions to be taken in the matter recommended in its report that all private cryptocurrencies, except any virtual currencies issued by state, will be prohibited in India.”

“The central government will take a decision on the recommendation of IMC and legislative proposal, if any would be introduced in the Parliament following the due process,” finance minister added. In 2018, the Reserve Bank of India had banned banks from processing transactions relating to cryptocurrency. In in March 2020, Supreme Court overturned the ban.

Reiterating the govt’s stance on Bitcoin, the finance minister said, “It was announced in the Budget Speech for 2018-19 that the government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coins and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.” “The government will explore use of block chain technology proactively for ushering in digital economy,” it further said.

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