Caution is the word as all that is floating around is not currency, cautioned Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman referring to cryptocurrency. She was speaking here on Saturday at an event organised by the BJP Economic Cell to release its souvenir ‘Vishwaguru Bharat’.
She urged the public and start-up entrepreneurs to deal in cryptocurrency with caution as all that was floating around was not currency.
“The government has already warned. I think all of us will have to share our thoughts and move with a bit of caution on this,’‘ she warned.
An episode that was reported in the media in the last few weeks, into which the investigation was happening, revealed several pitfalls, she added, apparently referring to the money laundering cases the ED has been probing recently.
However, she clarified that technology offered immense possibilities and people in the crypto ecosystem should not think that the government was inward looking and against technology.
With regard to blockchain, Ms. Sitharaman said, the Union government was very keen to encourage blockchain distributed ledger technology in the country.
Responding to a query from the audience on how to reconcile growth and inflation, especially if the country slipped into stagflation, she said, “We have to manage inflation, and also encourage growth. The approach that we are taking is growth. Growth is absolutely core to be given its full share of attention.’‘
She, however, conceded that there were increased costs on manufacturers. It was not to say that there was no burden of increased costs on manufacturers or increased prices on consumers.
“I repeat that India, legislatively and also because of the way in which we handled our inflationary things, has given itself number four — you know, for 4% inflation is acceptable and a tolerance band of minus two plus two, and don’t allow it to go further below than 2%,” she elaborated.
Ideally, the inflation should never be allowed to go above 6% but in the last few, particularly in the last few months, it went to over%, Ms. Sitharaman added.