Government should enact crypto legislation soon: Cong MP Gaurav Gogoi

Expressing concern about unregulated virtual digital assets such as cryptocurrencies, Congressman Gaurav Gogoi said Friday that the government should pass legislation soon to prevent their misuse for purposes such as terrorist financing and drug smuggling.

While initiating a debate on the Lok Sabha Finance Act, he said that the government is still sending mixed signals about virtual digital assets and there should be clarity on the definition of cryptocurrency.

He said it was not clear if it was an asset, a currency or something to be speculated on.

Gogoi added that the government should look into this so that virtual digital assets do not become a preferred route for money laundering, drug smuggling or crime.

“I expect policy to emerge sooner rather than later,” he said. “Cryptography is a risk at the moment.”

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman earlier moved the Finance Bill 2022-23 for consideration.

In the stock market, Gogoi said there are a lot of unregulated commercial ads on social media that attract people to invest in stocks.

It’s another bubble waiting to burst, he said, adding that the government should take that into account as well.

Noting that every government wants to expand the tax base, he said high-income individuals (HNIs) are the biggest contributor to revenue mobilization.

He said there has been a mass exodus of 7,000 high-income people from India since 2019.

What kind of ecosystem does the state provide to wealth makers, he wondered.

Regarding the fuel price hike, Gogoi said it was increased for the third time in one week, and added that the government should maintain the status quo to provide relief to the general people who have just emerged from the third wave of COVID-19.

“They need an opportunity to run their business in a free and fair atmosphere, not always under the burden of high inflation and high fuel prices. It is a bit ironic regarding the answer the government or its spokesmen give about fuel prices that they say fuel prices will go up because of the conflict in Ukraine.” .

He said the conflict in Ukraine did not start last week, adding that it had been going on since December and that Russian forces had been on the border for more than a month.

“For one month, they can keep prices stable. What has changed now?…Just because the (five state assemblies) elections are over. This is how you pay the people who brought you back to power,” he said.

He also said that India is not in a good position financially, and both states and the center are burdened with debts.

“Chauvinism is the only antidote this government offers to the poor whether there is record unemployment, whether there is high inequality, and when there is inflation. People are expected to put all their faith in the leader (the prime minister),,” he said.

The ANC’s Supriya Sule has called for a ban on cyrpto, saying that various committees have suggested it.

She questioned the imposition of a 30 per cent tax on capital gains from virtual digital assets even when there is no legislation on it.

(The title and image for this report may have been reformulated only by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a shared feed.)

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