Russian Lawmakers Amending the Digital Rule Bill
The Interfax publication on Monday, May 22, revealed that Russian lawmakers were mulling integrating a package of amendments to the digital rule bill. The bill is set for amendments regarding provisions relating to debt operations, the role of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, and services granted to non-residents.
Amendments Target Non-residents’ Access and Central Bank Role
The amendments constitute a critical part of the Russian parliamentary hearings, with the lawmakers proposing to integrate significant provisions in the digital ruble project. The proposals were highlighted in the May 22 report by the state-owned news agency as formulated at the committee level.
The Financial Market Committee of the Federal Assembly of Russia admitted that it would integrate suggestions to amend the digital ruble bill as it prepares for its second reading phase. A notable change proposed by the lawmakers is the exclusion of the Bank of Russia from The lawmaker’s front, a special role for the central bank in operating the digital ruble. Additionally, the proposed changes oblige the central bank to safeguard the private data of customers who double as employees within the Federal Security Services (FSS).
The lawmakers are considering non-residents’ active input in Russia’s finance ecosystem. They propose the new draft to facilitate how non-residents access the central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The legislators propose a defined access path via foreign banks that would seek approval to join the CBDC platform. The amendments seek to eliminate restrictions and limitations imposed on non-residents regarding the CBDC platform usage.
Lawmaker Criticize Monthly Withdrawal of Debtors’ Funds
The current provisions in the digital ruble bill empower the enforcement agencies with the right to withdraw without restrictions funds of debtors holding substantial digital rubles. The provision is attracting criticism led by the State Duma legal department.
The attorneys argue that approving the bill with such a provision would contravene the national law prohibiting withdrawing debtors’ funds exceeding the minimum wage level. They cite the current law is prohibiting monthly withdrawals higher than $195.
Conversation on Draft Provisions Lead to Further CBDC Delay
The Interfax publication indicates Bill 270838-8 passed the initial reading in March. The report decried the delay since the initial intention was to approve the draft provision into law by April. The April timeline would have facilitated CBDC piloting.
The Interfax report attributes the delay to the ongoing conversation on hot provisions. Nonetheless, Interfax projects the subsequent readings before August.
The delay witnessed in Russia is attributed to the need for a comprehensive regulation similar to one adopted by Belarus. Russia’s neighboring nation launches pilot CBDC.
A recent pronouncement by the national bank chairman admitted that the findings from the pilot phase would constitute critical input when issuing the digital Belarussian rubble by December 2023.