Indian Lawmaker Says Cryptocurrencies Should Be Blocked If Used For Illegal Purposes

The Indian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has said that cryptocurrencies should be blocked if they are used for illegal purposes, such as “to launch cyber attacks in India, to launch further attacks against India, to performing other types of illegal and non-illegal work as well as ethical like drug trafficking. “In the meantime, the Indian government would make changes to the cryptocurrency bill that is expected to be passed in the current session of parliament.

Indian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi has reportedly stressed that cryptocurrencies must be blocked if they are used by illegal means to undermine India’s sovereignty and integrity. Lekhi is also the current Indian Minister of State for Culture.

She was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha in May 2014 by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She was re-elected at the 17th Lok Sabha in May 2019. Speaking at the Sixth World Technology Summit, jointly hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Carnegie India last week, Lekhi was cited by the IANS publication in these terms:

If cryptocurrency is going to be used to launch cyberattacks in India, to launch other attacks on India, to do other kinds of illegal and unethical work like drug trafficking, I need to stop all that.

“I am sure that the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Informatics would have examined these issues in depth,” he added. The Minister continued, “Cryptocurrency platforms and exchanges belong to a group of people who are trying to avoid taxes by taking money from the country without benefiting the country where they are producing that wealth.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has reportedly made some changes to the cryptocurrency bill expected to pass in the current session of Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chaired some meetings on cryptocurrency legislation in India and will make a final decision on cryptocurrency regulation.

He recently said cryptocurrency should be used to strengthen democracy, not undermine it. Recent reports indicate that the government is considering regulating crypto assets but banning the use of cryptocurrencies for payments. However, the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), expressed great concern over the cryptocurrency and said at its last central council meeting that cryptocurrency should be banned altogether, stressing that a partial ban will not work.

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