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Crypto News Nirmala Sitharaman says India will take a considered approach to crypto

 Expressing concern over the possible misuse of crypto, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on April 27 that India would take a prudent decision on controls around virtual currencies.

During a conversation at Stanford University, he said, "Decisions on crypto will not be rushed."

"It will take time ... We all need to make sure that with at least one piece of information available, we are making precise decisions. It cannot be rushed," he said.

Read also: FM Nirmala Sitharaman assures investors to resolve pain points to encourage investment

The Minister made it clear that the government is open to promoting innovation and specific advances in distributed laser technology in the blockchain.

"So, our intention is not to hit it (the invention around crypto) in any way ... but (we) have to define for ourselves ...," he said.

So, these are some of the concerns that have been and are being discussed on a global, multilateral platform in many countries of the world, not just India.

Earlier on April 19, the finance minister said that the biggest risk of cryptocurrency could be its use for money laundering and financing terrorism.

"I think control using technology is the only answer. Control using technology needs to be so skilled that it's not behind the curve, but it has to be on top of it. And it's not possible if one country thinks it can handle it. Maybe. It has to be across the board, "he said.

India plans to launch a central bank-backed digital currency or Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

Sitharaman, in his budget speech on February 1, announced that the digital rupee or CBDC would be issued by the RBI in the next financial year.

He also announced that the government would impose a 30 percent tax on profits from any other personal digital asset from April 1.

Speaking on CBDC, RBI Deputy Governor T Ravi Shankar said earlier this month that a concise and systematic approach to launching India's first digital currency was essential as it would have a profound impact on the economy and monetary policy.

Essential education does not come from global experience but from your own experience, he said.

On the merger of HDFC and HDFC Bank, Sitharaman said it was a good move as India needed a much larger bank to meet the growing demand for infra financing.

Earlier this month, HDFC Bank, India's largest private lender, agreed to accept the largest domestic mortgage lender in a deal worth about $ 40 billion, making Titan one of the largest financial services in the country's corporate history.

The combined assets of the proposed entity will be around Rs 18 lakh crore.

Consolidation is expected to be completed in the second or third quarter of FY24, subject to regulatory approval.

The transaction involves the merger of HDFC Holdings with HDFC Holdings and HDFC Bank, HDFC and its two wholly owned subsidiaries.

HDFC, as the promoter of HDFC Bank, holds 21 per cent of the lender with two subsidiaries, which, if merged, would more than double the size of the private sector peer ICICI Bank.

Regarding the digital divide, Sitharaman said that some steps have been taken to bridge it.

When asked about the under-reporting of the number of Kovid deaths, he said that the data reported by the central government was compiled from the states.

This amendment was made due to changes made by the state governments, he said, after some of the deaths that occurred at home were updated by the states.

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