The Centre has no plans to introduce cryptocurrency, said Minister of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary on Tuesday.

He made the statement while replying to a question posed by Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh in Rajya Sabha. Singh wanted to know if the government planned to introduce cryptocurrency that will be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India.

Chaudhary said that cryptocurrency is currently unregulated in India.

“RBI [Reserve Bank of India] does not issue cryptocurrency,” Chaudhary said. “Traditional paper currency is a legal tender and is issued by RBI in terms of provisions of RBI Act, 1994. A digital version of traditional paper currency is called Central Bank Digital Currency.”

Chaudhary also informed Rajya Sabha that the Reserve Bank of India is currently working towards a phased implementation strategy for the introduction of Central Bank Digital Currency.

Over the last few months, the government has indicated on multiple occasions that it was considering to put a ban on private cryptocurrencies. However, no decision has been taken on the matter yet.

On November 23, an official document on the Winter Session of Parliament showed the Union government was planning to introduce a Bill to ban all private cryptocurrencies in India. However, the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill has not been placed in the House.

In her Budget speech on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that the Reserve Bank of India will issue a new digital rupee using blockchain and other technologies during the financial year 2022-’23. She also announced a 30% tax on income made from the transfer of digital assets. This tax will apply to cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.