Government and RBI in complete harmony on cryptocurrency and other issues: Finance Minister

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    Government and RBI on same page on various issues including cryptocurrency, finance minister says

    Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday that there was complete harmony between her department and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on all matters including cryptocurrencies. She added that there is respect for each other’s domain and priorities with the national interest in mind.

    She was speaking to the media after the RBI board meeting.

    “Not just on crypto, but also on everything else. I think there is a perfect harmony with which we work, respecting each other’s domain and also knowing what we have to do with each other’s priorities and in the interest of the nation. There is no turfing here,” Ms Sitharaman was quoted by the agencies as saying.

    RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das on his part said that the cryptocurrency issue was under internal discussion between the central bank and the government.

    “Whatever points we have, we have discussed with the government. Beyond that, I think I wouldn’t like to elaborate further,” Das said.

    Ms. Sitharaman, during the budget presentation on February 1, had said that a digital currency will be issued by the central bank in the next fiscal year, which will use blockchain technology. The budget also proposed to amend the RBI Act to introduce Central Bank Proposed Digital Currency (CBDC), which will operate simultaneously with traditional banknotes.

    Last week, Das said that private cryptocurrencies pose a threat to macroeconomics and financial stability and will undermine the central bank’s ability to meet challenges on both fronts. In a message to investors, he said these assets had no underlying, “not even a tulip.”

    Meanwhile, the finance minister, reacting to LIC’s draft red herring prospectus, said there was “positive buzz in the air” about it.

    She said a big decision like this is never a “gut reaction. It’s done with awareness…And I can see after the announcement, the reception, there’s a buzz in the air”.

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