India may treat cryptos as a financial asset

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Question: I read in the press that the Indian government is passing a law to curb cryptocurrencies. Is this a good policy considering that electronic currencies are becoming popular all over the world?

Reply: A bill is expected to be introduced in the winter session of Parliament from the end of this month. The aim is to treat cryptocurrencies as a financial asset while safeguarding the interests of individuals and small investors. Legislation may provide for a minimum amount for investments in digital currencies. However, these currencies will not be usable as legal tender. It is also possible that the law prohibits all private cryptocurrencies but provides exceptions in order to promote cryptocurrency technology and its uses. The Reserve Bank of India supports the implementation of effective restrictions on digital currencies, as this could affect the macroeconomic and financial stability of the country. In the budget that will be presented on February 1, 2022, capital gains realized on the sale of cryptocurrencies are likely to be taxed.

Question: My son started a successful business in India, being one of the first startups. His company has attracted foreign private investors. He now wants to expand his business to the UK and for that purpose he could move for a few years to London. Is it possible to do this and what are the prospects, given the competition from American and European companies?

Reply : After Britain left the European Union, the British government was doing everything possible to attract foreign investment. Recently, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in its report that the UK is emerging as an attractive destination for foreign direct investment, the second in the world. Indian companies are the second largest investor in the UK after America. New immigration rules have been developed to allow entrepreneurs to establish offices and branches in Britain. The Single Representative Visa issued by the UK government allows an employee of a foreign company to set up a branch or wholly owned subsidiary in the UK. The candidate should have the skills, experience and knowledge to run the business in the UK and should have full authority to make decisions on behalf of the parent company. Therefore, your son would ideally be eligible to apply for such a visa if he intends to change base for a limited period in order to set up a branch or subsidiary in the UK.

Question: I specialize in the area of ​​intellectual property law. I would like to relocate my office to India next year as I am told that this branch of law is booming. Can you give me some information on this?

Reply: According to the latest data available from the World Intellectual Property Organization, global filings of patents, trademarks and designs have increased considerably. This indicates the resilience of human capacities for innovation even during a time of economic turmoil in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The center of gravity of intellectual property filings has shifted to Asia due to the peak number of applications filed in this region, with China, India and South Korea leading the way. Double-digit growth in trademark registrations of 15% in 2020 has proven that new products and services are coming to market. Therefore, you certainly have good prospects for setting up an office in India where the share of trademark and patent filings is in the surgical, medical and pharmaceutical sectors.

HP Ranina is a practicing lawyer specializing in the Tax Laws and Foreign Exchange Management of India.

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