Money laundering law to apply to crypto trade: Finance Ministry

Published - March 08, 2023 09:54 pm IST

The government has imposed money laundering provisions on cryptocurrencies or virtual assets as it looks to tighten oversight of digital assets.

In a gazette notification, the Finance Ministry said the anti-money laundering legislation has been applied to crypto trading, safekeeping and related financial services. After this, Indian crypto exchanges will have to report suspicious activity to the Financial Intelligence Unit India (FIU-IND).

The move is in line with the global trend of requiring digital-asset platforms to follow anti-money laundering standards similar to those followed by other regulated entities like banks or stock brokers.

The notification said, “Exchange between virtual digital assets and fiat currencies, exchange between one or more forms of virtual digital assets, transfer of virtual digital assets, safekeeping or administration of virtual digital assets or instruments enabling control over virtual digital assets, and participation in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and sale of a virtual digital asset” will be now be covered by Prevention of Money-laundering Act, 2002.

Last month, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed Parliament that India was discussing with the G20 the need to develop a standard operating protocol for regulating crypto assets.

NASA hands over NISAR satellite to ISRO

The ISRO has received the NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) satellite from the U.S. space agency. NISAR is a Low Earth Orbit observatory jointly developed by NASA and ISRO.

“Touchdown in Bengaluru! @ISRO receives NISAR (@NASA -ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) on a @USAirforce C-17 from @NASAJPL in California, setting the stage for final integration of the Earth observation satellite, a true symbol of #USIndia civil space collaboration. #USIndiaTogether,” the U.S. Consulate General Chennai tweeted on March 8.

According to ISRO, NISAR will map the entire globe in 12 days and provide spatially and temporally consistent data for understanding changes in Earth’s ecosystems, ice mass, vegetation biomass, sea level rise, groundwater and natural hazards, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.

NISAR carries L and S dual-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which operates with the Sweep SAR technique to achieve large swaths with high-resolution data. The SAR payloads mounted on Integrated Radar Instrument Structure (IRIS) and the spacecraft bus are together called an observatory.

The final integration of the satellite will be carried out at the U.R. Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, and ISRO is looking to launch the satellite in 2024 from Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota.

Amit Shah discusses Tripura tribal areas’ issues with Tipra Motha chief

Union Home Minister Amit Shah held discussions with Tipra Motha supremo Pradyot Kishore Debbarma, in the presence of BJP president J.P. Nadda, over various issues faced by the indigenous people of Tripura, a senior leader of the BJP said.

Debbarma, in a Facebook post, said the Union Home Minister has started the process for a “constitutional solution” for the indigenous people of Tripura and an interlocutor for the process would be appointed within a specific time frame.

BJP’s Northeast coordinator Sambit Patra said Shah heard the issues explained by Debbarma and requested Chief Minister Manik Saha, who was also present in the meeting, to hold talks with ruling ally IPFT, along with Tipra Motha and social organisations, to find amicable solutions to the problems. He also said that no discussions were held on political alliance or allocation of cabinet berths to Tipra Motha and the discussion was limited to “tribal welfare”.

Tipra Motha, floated by Debbarma, bagged 13 of the 42 seats it contested in elections to the 60-member Tripura State Assembly, emerging as the second-largest party in the House.

Debbarma, a descendant of the former ruling family of Tripura, had long been seeking a “constitutional solution” to demands by his party for a separate State of Tiprasa.

While the BJP has made it clear that it is unwilling to concede a division of the tiny northeastern State, its leadership has spoken of a willingness to give more legislative, financial and executive powers to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council that runs affairs in tribal dominated areas.

India slams Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal for raking up Kashmir at UNSC debate

India tore into Pakistan after its Foreign Minister raised the issue of Jammu and Kashmir at a Security Council debate on women, peace and security, saying it is “unworthy” to even respond to such “malicious and false propaganda”.

Responding to Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks on Jammu and Kashmir, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ruchira Kamboj termed his statement as “baseless and politically motivated”.

“Before I conclude, let me dismiss the frivolous, baseless and politically motivated remarks made by the delegate of Pakistan regarding the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.

“My delegation considers it unworthy to even respond to such malicious and false propaganda. Rather, our focus is where it shall always be — positive and forward-looking,” she added.

Kamboj’s sharp retort came after Mr. Bhutto-Zardari referred to Jammu and Kashmir in his remarks to the Council debate held under Mozambique’s Presidency for this month, on the eve of International Women’s Day.

Xi Jinping says China needs to improve use of defence resources ‘to win wars’

China needs to improve its use of defence resources such as technology, supply chain and national reserves “to strengthen its army and win wars”, President Xi Jinping said.

Xi is the commander-in-chief of China’s armed forces and is due to be formally re-elected as President later this week. Consolidating and improving “integrated strategic capabilities” is a new requirement set by the ruling Communist Party, Xi told representatives of the People’s Liberation Army and the military police during the annual session of parliament, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

Wearing a Chinese suit in Army green, he reminded the military that it must be led by the party. “China needs to better use defence science, technology and industry to strengthen its army and win wars,” Xi said.

He asked national laboratories to accelerate their research in defence technology so that China would not have to rely on foreign countries.

He also said that industry supply chains must be more resilient and called for more infrastructure building and the setting-up of national reserves for defence purposes.

In Brief:

The Enforcement Directorate has summoned BRS MLC K. Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, for questioning in the Delhi excise policy case on March 9. On Tuesday, the agency took into custody Hyderabad-based liquor businessman, Arun Ramchandra Pillai, who allegedly represented the interests of Kavitha. During the questioning, it will confront her with the purported disclosures made by him. Reacting to the ED summons, Kavitha said that she would fully cooperate with the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the case.

Evening Wrap will return tomorrow.

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