The government has no proposal to recognise Bitcoin as a currency in the country, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a reply to the Lok Sabha on Monday. She also informed the House that the government does not collect data on Bitcoin transactions.
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.
Meanwhile, the government plans to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament. The Bill seeks to ban all but a few private cryptocurrencies to promote underlying technologies while allowing an official digital currency by RBI.
On inflation, the Finance Minister said price situation of major essential commodities is being monitored by the government on a regular basis and corrective actions are taken from time to time.
“The uptrend in inflation has been largely led by exogenous factors viz. increased international prices of crude oil and edible oils which have an impact on domestic inflation due to India’s import dependence on these items,” she said.
The rise of WPI inflation is also mostly driven by ‘fuel and power’ and manufactured products inflation, once again driven by increased global prices of crude oil and increase in international commodity/input prices, she said. Several supply side measures have been taken by the government to curb the inflationary pressures, she said.
In reply 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 fiscal.
This is 41% of the Budget Estimate (BE) of Rs 5.54 lakh crore for 2021-22. The actual expenditure during current fiscal is about 38% higher than the corresponding expenditure in FY 2020-21, she said.
To accelerate capital expenditure for creation and upgradation of infrastructure in the economy, Government of India had launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) with 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 for all citizens.
NIP was launched with 6,835 projects, which has expanded to over 9,000 projects covering 34 sub-sectors. NIP is expected to improve project preparation, attract investments into infrastructure, and play pivotal role in economic growth, she said.
National Monetisation Pipeline (NMP) was also launched on August 23, 2021, to unlock the value of investments in public sector assets by tapping private sector capital and efficiencies for delivering infrastructure services, she said, adding, the monetization proceeds are envisaged to be ploughed back to augment existing/ create greenfield infrastructure to boost the economy.
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