The finance ministry on Monday informed Parliament that the government isn’t planning to promote the cryptocurrency sector in the country, but authorities intend to roll out a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
Separately, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told the Lok Sabha that as many as 61 companies raised Rs 52,759 crore via initial public offerings (IPOs) until October this fiscal, 70% higher than the amount garnered in the whole of FY21.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, minister of state for finance Pankaj Chaudhary said: “No, Sir. The government has no plans for boosting the cryptocurrency sector in India.”
To another question, Chaudhary said since the CBDC is “backed by the central bank of a country, apart from other benefits, it will not have volatility which is normally associated with the private cryptocurrencies”.
Cryptocurrencies currently remain unregulated and the government doesn’t collect data on them. However, the Centre plans to bring in a Bill on Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency in the ongoing winter session of Parliament, he added.
As for the IPO rush, Sitharaman said, of the 61 companies that went public until October this fiscal, as many as 34 were small and medium enterprises.
In FY21, 56 companies had raised Rs 31,060 crore from IPOs and 27 of them were SMEs, the minister said, citing the Sebi data.
The issue size of 35 companies this fiscal was lower than Rs 100 crore each, while four were in the range of Rs 100 crore and less than Rs 500 crore. As many as 22 IPOs were equal to Rs 500 crore or more, the minister said.
No surprisingly, healthcare firms (10) led the pack of companies that went for the IPOs, followed by cement/ constructions (6) and food processing (4).
Responding to a supplementary question on whether the Paytm IPO created problems for investors, Sitharaman replied in the negative. “It (IPO) was subscribed more than what they (company) went for,” she said.
The Rs 18,300-crore IPO was oversubscribed 1.89 times on the last day of the country’s biggest share sale. Against the offer size of 4.83 crore shares, the IPO of One97 Communications received bids for 9.14 crore, according to information available with stock exchanges on November 10. The price band was set at Rs 2,080-2,150 per share.
Nevertheless, the scrip tanked over 27% from the issue price of Rs 2,150 on November 18, the day it made the debut on the stock exchanges.