Thousands of Indians have signed a petition urging the central government to consider reducing the tax on earnings from cryptocurrency to more reasonable levels. The petition has been initiated on Change.org where around 60,000 have already lent their support.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier said during her budget speech she proposes taxing earnings from cryptocurrency at a flat 30 percent. She further stated there will be no deduction allowed save for the cost of the acquisition, and that the tax will be levied irrespective of whether the buyer has incurred losses or whatever.
The online petition has been started by YouTuber Aditya Singh who runs the channel Crypto India. The petition urges Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to make the necessary changes so that cryptocurrency emerges as an attractive investment option for Indians.
The petition puts forward its case by presenting some key facts, which include the presence of a sizeable number of crypto investors in the country which stands at around 20 million. This is on top of the several hundred thousand who are associated with the industry and draw their livelihood from the same. Further, investors in India have around $6 billion worth of crypto assets with them. All of this makes the crypto industry to be a huge source of employment to the average Indian.
Apart from these, the petition also stated crypto industry makes a significant contribution to the Indian economy by not only providing direct and indirect employment but also bringing in FDI investments as well. Besides these, it helps the government in allowing GST payments and income tax revenues as well.
The petitioners have put forth five points for the Finance Minister to consider. These include making the present proposed tax rate of 30 percent be reduced to the tax structure that applies to stock market transactions. The petition is also urging the government to reduce the 1 percent tax deducted at source (TDS) to 0.05 percent.
The other points the petitioners are asking the government to consider include introducing the loss set-off and carrying forward option as the crypto industry is still in the nascent stage and continues to be quite volatile. The acquisition cost should also be defined so that it includes exchange fees, blockchain network fees, interest payments, royalty payments on NFTs, and so on.
The last point the petitioners have come up with is to stop treating the crypto industry to be on par with the betting or gambling industry.