Recently, Indian parliament member, Sushil Kumar Modi, came out with strong opinions on cryptocurrency. Modi compared the currency to gambling. This conclusion was drawn from the unstable nature of crypto.
As such, he is demanding a higher tax on crypto income. Modi wishes to impose a 50% tax on all crypto income, and 28% on goods and services (GST) related to the crypto industry.
Modi wishes to push the tax percentage of crypto up to that of the tax rate of gambling practices.
In a recent interview with Forkast,
"…crypto is like gambling. It is like the lottery, it is like a casino, it is like horse racing … and in all these things the tax rates are very high."
Modi further believes that since gambling pursuits such as horse racing and lotteries are taxed on their GST, so should crypto. He also believes that crypto would be a devastating addition to the Indian economy.
"We feel these cryptos are not good for the financial stability of any country … Only countries with unstable finances are legalizing these tenders."
Modi further compared cryptocurrency to the trade of stocks. He pointed out that stocks originate from businesses owned by real people. According to Modi, "nobody knows who is behind these cryptos".
Whilst these may sound like hollow threats, the words of Modi are imperative for the future of crypto in India. Currently, the Indian government is deliberating on the laws of crypto within the country. According to Modi,
"In the coming days, they will decide … is it an asset? Is it a commodity? Is it a stock? Is it goods or services … All these things have to be decided in the near future."
At this point, the Indian government has no formal laws in place on how to regulate crypto within the country. However, as of the 1st of April, India implemented a 30% tax on all profits made off of crypto assets as well as virtual digital assets such as NFTs.
"One thing is very clear, like El Salvador or Ukraine, the government of India is not going to legalize (crypto)… It will not be treated like a legal tender or fiat currency."
The parliament member continued to explain that young crypto investors will be given time to make an exit strategy. Should they choose to ignore this, they will soon be faced with a higher tax rate of 50% on all earnings. Furthermore, he is determined to discourage any further growth in the crypto trade
"A low-income country like India should not encourage these activities too much."
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