No proposal to recognize bitcoin as currency: Sitharaman
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her reply in the Lok Sabha on Monday that the government has no proposal to recognize bitcoin as a currency in the country. He also told the House that the government does not collect data on bitcoin transactions. To the question of whether the government has any proposal to recognize bitcoin as a currency in the country, the Finance Minister said “No, sir”.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties. It was introduced in 2008 by an unknown group of programmers as a cryptocurrency as well as an electronic payment system. It is reportedly the first decentralized digital currency where peer-to-peer transactions take place without any intermediaries. Meanwhile, the government plans to introduce the Official Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Digital Currency Bill 2021 in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
The bill seeks to ban all but a few private cryptocurrencies to promote the underlying technologies, while allowing official digital currency by the RBI. In response to another question, Sitharaman said, ministries and departments have spent Rs 2.29 lakh crore as capital expenditure during the April-September period of the current financial year. This is 41 per cent of the budget estimate (BE) of Rs 5.54 lakh crore for 2021-22. He said that the actual expenditure during the current financial year is about 38 percent more than the corresponding expenditure in the financial year 2020-21.
In order to accelerate capital expenditure for creation and upgradation of infrastructure in the economy, the Government of India has made an estimated infrastructure investment of Rs 111 lakh crore during the period 2020-2025 to provide world class infrastructure across the country. National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) was launched with The NIP was initiated with 6,835 projects, which has expanded to over 9,000 projects covering 34 sub-sectors.
He said that the NIP is expected to play an important role in improving project readiness, attracting investment in infrastructure and economic development. The National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) was also launched on August 23, 2021 to unlock the value of investments in public sector assets to unlock the potential of the private sector to deliver capital and infrastructure services. He said, the monetization proceeds are envisaged to be mortgaged back. To augment the existing/Greenfield infrastructure to boost the economy. Subsequently, he said, Gati Shakti (National Master Plan for Infrastructure Development) was launched as a digital platform on October 13, 2021, for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects by ministries/departments. to be brought together.
The minister said that it will also facilitate last mile connectivity of infrastructure and also reduce the travel time for the people. On inflation, the Finance Minister said that the price position of key essential commodities is being regularly monitored by the government and corrective action is taken from time to time. “The main reason for the pick-up in inflation is exogenous factors, such as rise in international prices of crude oil and edible oils, which have an impact on domestic inflation due to India’s import dependence on these commodities,” he said.
He added that the increase in WPI inflation is also mostly driven by inflation of ‘fuel and power’ and manufactured products, once again driven by rise in global crude oil prices and rise in international commodity/input prices. He said the government has taken several supply-side measures to ease inflationary pressures.
To check the prices of petrol and diesel, Sitharaman said, the central government has reduced the central excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively with effect from November 4, 2021. In response, several state governments have also reduced VAT on petrol and diesel. As a result, retail prices of petrol and diesel have come down.
As an additional measure to control prices, India has agreed to release 5 million barrels of crude oil from its strategic petroleum reserves. He said the release would happen in parallel and in consultation with other major global energy consumers such as the Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, including the United States.