India has proposed a jail term of one to 10 years for those who mine, hold or sell cryptocurrencies, said a draft proposal bill ‘Banning Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019’, reported Bloomberg Quint.
The bill, which is still in draft stage, is prepared by a panel led by Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg. The panel reportedly has a number of members of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), representatives from investigative agencies and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) among others.
According to the report, involvement in cryptocurrency is an offense deemed as “cognisable and non-bailable” and those breaking the new rules may face up to a ten-year prison sentence as well as hefty fines, amounting to up to three times their gains.
If the drafted bill gets implemented to becomes a law then cryptocurrency holders will have 90 days to declare and dispose of cryptocurrencies “in accordance with the prescription of central government.”
“The penalty imposed on the accused, according to the bill, shall be either thrice the loss caused to the system, or three-fold the gains made by him/her, whichever is higher,” Bloomberg Quint writes. “If the loss or gain can’t be reasonably determined, the maximum fine that can be imposed may be notified by the government.”
While the draft proposed strict actions against people dealing in cryptocurrencies, it also advocates introduction of an official digital currency for India. The ‘Digital Rupee’ will be introduced after consulting the central board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
It was in September 2017 that it was reported that India could launch its own fiat Cryptocurrency Called ‘Lakshmi’. However in early of this year, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) claimed it was no longer planning to issue a digital currency.
The regressive draft bill on banning cryptocurrency is in contrast to what two economic powerhouses of the world — the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank — are said to be working on. The two global agencies are reportedly working on a private cryptocurrency to study blockchain technologies and their real-world applications.