ETF allows investor to diversify portfolio without owning asset

An ETF-equivalent product consists of a basket of crypto assets but these products cannot be traded.

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By H. P. Ranina

Published: Sat 12 Mar 2022, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Sat 12 Mar 2022, 10:02 PM

Question: With foreign exchanges rates of major currencies fluctuating due to the recent geopolitical crisis, I have been advised to look closely at crypto assets. However, I am wary of investing directly in view of the fact that there is no legal framework. I am not sure whether exchange traded funds which are linked to crypto assets are worth considering. Can you please throw some light?

An exchange traded fund consists of a basket of securities which are traded on a stock exchange. The main benefit of an ETF is that it allows an investor to diversify his portfolio without owning the asset, like mutual funds. A person can invest in regulated global crypto ETFs. For resident and non resident Indians there are recognised platforms which allow buying foreign listed stocks and shares. There are also wealth management funds which offer ETF-equivalent products. An ETF-equivalent product consists of a basket of crypto assets but these products cannot be traded. Generally, ETFs are advantageous for those who are not sure which crypto token to buy and in what proportion. You need to be careful in taking a decision because there are several types of ETFs; some invest in virtual assets directly, some in futures, while others focus on stocks of companies which are in blockchain and other crypto related areas.

My daughter has been staying with me for the past ten months after the birth of her first child. Her husband has been demanding that she return to his house and threatens to sue her for divorce if she does not do so. What is the correct legal position under Indian law? Would her husband succeed in a divorce petition filed in an Indian Court?

Divorce can only be granted by a Court in India on specified grounds. One such ground is ‘cruelty’. The Supreme Court has had occasion to consider this very point. According to the Court, if a woman leaves her husband’s home to be with her parents during pregnancy and stays on with the parents thereafter, this would not amount to cruelty. Hence, it cannot be a ground for divorce. The Court took this decision and held that it is natural for a woman to prefer to stay in her parents’ house during and after pregnancy. Hence, a refusal to return to her matrimonial home cannot be termed as cruelty by the husband. In fact, this view of the Supreme Court has confirmed the view taken by High Courts which held that there was no question of any cruelty which could be a ground for divorce. Therefore, this is well settled in law and your daughter cannot be divorced by her husband on the ground that she continues to stay in your home.

My family members in India have been in business for the past several years as it was started by my grandfather. They have been supplying goods to Government departments and State control agencies. Problems have been continuously faced while recovering the dues. Has anything been done to protect the interest of businessmen who enter into contracts with the Government?

A new system has now been set up called the Electronic Bill (e-Bill) processing system. This system has been launched and will be implemented across all Central ministries and departments. Suppliers and contractors will now be able to submit their claim online which will be tracked by the authorities on a real-time basis. This will ensure end-to-end digitization and make the payment process transparent. Technology will be used not only within the Government department but will be available for use by businessmen also. The new system has been devised to prevent any harassment of businessmen and ensuring that contractors and suppliers get their dues in a time-bound manner after they file their claims digitally with a digital signature. This would ensure that funds are credited directly into the bank account of the contractor or supplier without any delay.

H. P. Ranina is a practicing lawyer, specialising in tax and exchange management laws of India.

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