India on Tuesday proposed launching a digital rupee by next year and a 30% tax on income from transfer of virtual digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs in one of the most remarkable tech and business-focused federal budgets presented by New Delhi.
New Delhi has proposed a tax deduction at source on payments made related to purchase of virtual assets to capture details of all such transactions, the nation’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said Tuesday.
The purchase of cryptocurrencies and NFTs have made inroads in India — as it has in many other parts of the world — in the past two years despite regulatory uncertainty in the country. Binance-owned WazirX said last month that yearly trading volume on its platform exceeded $43 billion in 2021, at an “1,735% growth from 2020.”
India’s central bank will also introduce a digital currency in the next financial year, she said. The nation’s central bank has been piloting its CBDC for several months.
“Introduction of a central bank digital currency will give a big boost to digital economy. Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system,” she said.
The proposals today have somewhat created more confusion among entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and the general public alike about how New Delhi plans to tackle cryptocurrencies. By introducing a tax system for crypto-related transactions, New Delhi appears to be either recognizing such virtual assets as a legal tender, or as an investor wondered aloud, “take their pound of flesh from all the action.”
New Delhi also pledged to open up its defense’s research and development to startups, and pushed to increase the reach of internet and digital banks in rural parts of the country.
This is a developing story. More to follow…