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Cryptocurrency is under discussion with G20 nations: Union Finance minister Sitharaman
New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Saturday that crypto is 99 per cent technology. It is "under discussion with G20 nations," if all countries could achieve a standard operating procedure that will be effective while following a regulatory framework, she added. Addressing a press meet after addressing the Central Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in the customary post-Budget meeting on Saturday, the Finance Minister said, "If regulation has to happen, then a different country alone cannot do anything. We are talking to all countries about whether we will be able to make any standard operating procedure. So that if everyone follows that path and we create a regulatory framework, will we be able to remain effective? All this is a topic in discussion. Discussions on this subject with the G20 countries are on."
Responding to a question on the new income tax regime announced in the Union Budget 2023, the Minister said the simple step of trying to leave some money in the hands of the middle-class leads to a lot of inferences. "We had said earlier we will simplify and reduce income tax rates, that's where it is," the minister said.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that interest rates have just moved into positive territory, negative interest rates for a long period can create instability. "The annual export target of USD 400 billion will be achieved," he added.
Responding to a question on the draft Bill for National Financial Information Registry (NFIR), the Governor said that draft NFIR Bill should be ready soon. The proposal for setting up a credit repository was discussed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council in September.
Responding to a question on crude oil, the Governor said, "On the oil assumption, yes, we have assumed USD 95/barrel. The average this year has been USD 93/barrel, starting at the beginning of the year after the war in Europe, oil prices crossed even USD 120/barrel, average is about USD 93/bbl, and all factors have been taken into consideration."
The Governor said the forward markets were giving a much more benign picture with regard to oil prices. "But, we have been very conservative in our assessment. Our inflation projection for 2023-24 at 5.3 per cent, we have said the risks are evenly balanced."
"So, if the oil prices go down significantly, there's the advantage of other commodity prices, it will work out in favour in terms of leading to lower inflation. But, if there is demand for oil due to the opening up of countries due to higher growth in other counties, then the commodity prices may go up," added Shaktikanta Das.
Das further said, "Having said that, I would like to add and I have said that in my statement the other day that the global economic outlook does not look as grim as it did about six months ago. The talk of a deep recession in many countries including advanced countries, that is behind us."
Das said now the talk around the world was a softer recession or just a global slowdown. "So, therefore the risks are evenly balanced, we have to wait and see how it plays out," he added. (ANI)