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India’s Punjab to embrace Web 3.0, unveils committee to explore its potential

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Punjab, a state in the Northern region of India, has turned its sights to distributed ledger technology (DLT) as it looks to improve its operations. The state’s Chief Minister, Chaudhry Parvez Elahi, inaugurated a 22-member committee to explore the opportunities available in the digital assets ecosystem. 

The committee will be led by Punjab’s Minister of Finance, Mohsin Leghari, while IT Minister Dr. Arsian Khalid will serve as the co-convener of the committee. Other members of the newly constituted body are drawn from academia and players in the virtual currency industry.

One of the aims of the committee is to interface with the leading Web 3 firms and to urge them to establish research and development centers in Punjab to create a vibrant talent pool for the development of DLT in the state.

“The committee will deliberate in detail by engaging a range of stakeholders from the industry, academia, and government to arrive at a robust roadmap and concrete action items for the adoption of Web 3.0 ecosystem,” said Dr. Khalid.

Members of the committee will explore the potential benefits of the metaverse, virtual assets and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), augmented reality, and virtual reality. An in-depth study of the ecosystems of the U.S., China, and Japan will also be carried out to find out the global best practices for the operation and regulation of the industry.

At the end of the fact-finding mission, the committee will present a report to the executive highlighting the operational and taxation issues expected in the push into Web 3. Logistics and secretarial support will be provided by the Arfa Software Technology Park (ASTP), according to the announcement by Punjab’s Chief Minister.

India’s regional governments are embracing web 3 technology

India is aggressively leaning toward DLT, with the country’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman saying that she foresees the country’s adoption rate for the technology growing by 46% in the coming years.

Maharashtra, India’s second most populous state, has previously used DLT to streamline activities in its land registry with a broader plan to deploy the technology in the supply chain, agricultural marketing, and registration of vehicles.

Despite the increasing adoption of digital assets by regional governments, the national government still eyes the asset class with great skepticism. The dislike for the asset class has led to India imposing one of the strictest regimes of tax laws for the industry of a staggering 30% on gains made from virtual currency trades.

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