FM Nirmala Sitharaman, Marketing and Advertising News, ET BrandEquity

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (file photo)

The government has no proposal to recognize Bitcoin as a currency in the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday in a response to the Lok Sabha. She also informed the House that the government does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions.

That the government has a proposal to recognize Bitcoin as the currency in the country, the Minister of Finance 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 unidentified group of programmers as a cryptocurrency as well as an electronic payment system. It would be the first decentralized digital currency where peer-to-peer transactions take place without any intermediary.

Meanwhile, the government plans to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Official Digital Currency Regulation Bill 2021 during the current 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 through RBI.

In response to another question, Sitharaman said, ministries and departments spent 2.29 lakh crore rupees as capital expenditure during the April-September period of the current fiscal year.

This represents 41% of the budget estimate (BE) of Rs 5.54 lakh crore for 2021-2022. Actual spending in the current fiscal year is about 38% higher than the corresponding spending in fiscal year 2020-21, she said.

The decision was made this week at a meeting held by the Blockchain and Crypto Asset Committee, a branch of the industry body Internet and Mobile Association of India, said two people familiar with the development.

To accelerate capital spending for the creation and upgrading of infrastructure in the economy, the Indian government launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with a projected infrastructure investment of Rs 111 lakh crore during the period 2020-2025 to provide world-class infrastructure across the country. , and improve the quality of life of all citizens. The NIP was launched with 6,835 projects, which has grown to over 9,000 projects covering 34 sub-sectors. The NIP is expected to improve project preparation, attract investment in infrastructure and play a central role in economic growth, she said.

The National Monetization Pipeline (NMP) was also launched on August 23, 2021 to unlock the value of investments in public sector assets by harnessing the capital and efficiency of the private sector for the provision of infrastructure services, a- she said, adding that the monetization proceeds should be reinvested. increase existing infrastructure / create new infrastructure to stimulate the economy.

Subsequently, she said, Gati Shakti (National Master Plan for Infrastructure Development) was launched on October 13, 2021 as a digital platform to bring together ministries / departments for integrated planning and implementation. coordinated implementation of infrastructure connectivity projects. It will also facilitate last mile connectivity of infrastructure and also reduce travel time for people, she added.

Regarding inflation, the finance minister said that the price situation of major commodities is monitored regularly by the government and corrective actions are taken from time to time.

“The upward trend in inflation has been largely driven by exogenous factors, namely the increase in international prices of crude oil and edible oils which have an impact on domestic inflation due to the dependence of the ‘India with regard to imports of these items, ”she said.

The rise in WPI inflation is also mainly due to the inflation of ‘fuels and electricity’ and manufactures, once again driven by rising world crude oil prices and rising prices. commodities / inputs, she said.

Several measures on the supply side have been taken by the government to curb inflationary pressures, she said.

To check gasoline and diesel prices, Sitharaman said, the central government reduced the central excise tax on gasoline and diesel by Rs 5 and Rs 10 respectively from November 4, 2021.

“In response, the governments of many states have also reduced the value-added tax on gasoline and diesel. As a result, retail gasoline and diesel prices have come down,” she said. .

As a further measure to control prices, India has agreed to release 5 million barrels of crude oil from its strategic oil reserves, she said, adding that this release will take place in parallel and in consultation with other major global energy consumers, including the United States, the People of the Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

With limited information from the exchanges, the market is rife with unfounded rumors: the exchanges slow down trading to prevent massive sales; the exchanges manipulate the markets, the exchanges actively participate in trade, etc.

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