In a significant development, the Russian parliamentary hearings on the Digital Ruble project have taken an intriguing turn as lawmakers propose substantial amendments to the bill. These amendments, formulated by the Gosduma’s Committee on Financial Market, seek to redefine crucial aspects such as debt operations, services for non-residents, and the role of the central bank in the implementation of the Digital Ruble.
One of the key amendments aims to limit the Central bank’s involvement in companies’ financing, shifting its primary role to that of an operator for the Digital Ruble platform. This proposal intends to streamline the operations and focus of the central bank, allowing it to concentrate on ensuring the efficiency and security of the Digital Ruble ecosystem.
Additionally, the proposed amendments emphasize the protection of private data, particularly for workers of the Federal Security Service (FSB). By obliging the Central bank to defend the personal information of these customers, the lawmakers aim to bolster privacy and security measures within the digital ruble framework.
Another notable revision in the draft bill is the proposal for easier access to the central bank digital currency (CBDC) platform for non-residents through foreign banks. Foreign banks would be granted approval to join the platform, facilitating their participation in the digital ruble system. Furthermore, the amendments highlight the importance of providing non-residents with unhindered access to the CBDC platform, removing limitations and fostering a more inclusive financial environment.
However, the current version of the bill includes a provision allowing enforcement agencies to withdraw funds without limitations from debtors possessing a sufficient amount of Digital Rubles. This concept has faced opposition from the legal department of Gosduma, citing existing national laws that forbid withdrawing debtors’ funds beyond a certain threshold, approximately equivalent to $195 per month.
Bill number 270838-8, which underwent its first reading in March, aimed to become law by April to initiate the CBDC pilot. Nevertheless, due to the ongoing discussions surrounding the bill, the deadline has been postponed. The Interfax report indicates that the bill is expected to progress to the subsequent readings by the end of July.
The proposed amendments to the Digital Ruble bill hold significant implications for Russia’s financial sector. They reflect a desire to refine the role of the central bank, enhance data privacy protection, and foster international participation. As the bill progresses through parliamentary hearings, the evolving landscape of Russia’s digital currency ecosystem continues to captivate attention, setting the stage for a potential transformation in the country’s financial landscape.