The chairman of the Inter-ministerial Committee that recommended banning crypto currencies in India has resigned from his post. Subhash Garg, the Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs of India was moved to the Ministry of Power recently. Right after handing over the post, he announced his decision to resign. Chairman Garg resigns from the IAS by october.
Subhash Garg was the Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs till 25th of July 2019. He was transferred to the Ministry of Power in the recent reshuffle by the Modi government. Immediately after handing over his post, he announced that he was applying for an early voluntary retirement, in effect announcing his resignation. He expects to leave his current post by October. Many speculate that the announcement of retirement was made because Garg left snubbed by the government over his views on crypto currencies. A recent article on Bitcoin.com elaborately explains the timeline.
In the last two tweets he made comments on crypto currencies and blockchain technologies. While he recommended an increased use of DLT or Distributed Ledger system in financial applications, he still reiterated that private virtual currencies are a bad idea.
On 25th July he tweeted –
Handed over charge of Economic Affairs today. Learnt so much in the Finance Ministry and Economic Affairs Dept. Will take charge in Power Ministry tomorrow. Have also applied for Voluntary Retirement from the IAS with effect from 31st October. Last tweet from this handle.
This was preceded by a tweet on 22nd talking about the recent report.
Committee is very receptive and supportive of distributed ledger technologies and recommends its widespread use in delivering financial services. It also opens up door for a possible official digital rupee. Private crypto currencies are of no real value. Rightly banned.
The tweet on the crypto currency ban caused an uproar on twitter with many pointing out the fact that crypto currencies are not banned in India. Another user pointed out that bitcoin is more public than the Indian Rupee.
The recent change in the Secretary has buoyed the hopes of crypto users in India. Already under pressure from the banking ban issued by the RBI, many exchanges have closed down. The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing on the ban till September. While all this is bad news, the change in Secretary may be representative of a change in the governments’ stance on crypto currencies.
The government has made it clear that cryptocurrencies are not banned as yet in India. However, the outlook does not look good. The RBI ban on banking was the single biggest blow to exchanges. This was followed by a lot of Indian leaders calling crypto currencies ponzi schemes. The recent report submitted under Garg recommended 10 year jail time for crypto users. The Supreme Court has delayed most of the hearings, probably waiting for the central government to implement some kind of regulation before giving a ruling.
The Ministry of Finance released a statement saying:
This report and draft bill will now be examined in consultation with all the concerned departments and regulatory authorities before the government takes a final decision.
“After this, if the government decides to go ahead with the ban, this bill will be presented in parliament for debate, and vote. If it’s approved by the majority, it will be sent to the President for his approval as per Article 111,” explained Nischal Shetty, CEO of local crypto exchange Wazirx. “Only after his assent, can a bill become an Act of Parliament.”
Chairman Garg resigns from the IAS by october.