E-Way Bill system rolls out
New Delhi: The Electronic Way (E-Way) Bill introduced under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime rolled out across the country from Sunday, on its second attempt at implementation following an earlier start in February.
The E-Way Bill, at present, applies to inter-state transportation of goods worth over Rs 50,000 through road, railways, airways and vessels.
For intra-state movement of goods, the new system would be launched in two weeks' time, Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had announced on last week.
GST Network (GSTN) Chief Executive Prakash Kumar said that around 11 lakh businesses and transporters had registered on the e-way bill platform and expected most registrations to take place at the last minute.
About 1.05 crore businesses have registered under the new GST regime, of which around 70,00,000 are filing returns.
The Finance Ministry clarified on Saturday that a single E-Way Bill will apply even in cases of a break in journey to destination and where more than one transporter is involved in the transportation of goods.
"It is clarified that in such a scenario, only one E-Way Bill would be required," a ministry statement said, citing the example of a break in journey involving a third city and which has been undertaken by two transporters.
The government also "clarified that the validity period of e-way bill starts only after the e-way bill details are updated by the transporter for the first time".
According to British consulting multinational Deloitte, introduction of the E-Way Bill would help the government in plugging possible evasion and increase revenues which have been under pressure.
"The phased introduction of E-Way Bill, initially on interstate movements and subsequently on intrastate movements is a good approach," Deloitte India Senior Director M.S. Mani said.
"It must be ensured that the second phase of e-way bill requirement for movements within the state is done in a calibrated manner considering the experiences of the first phase."
In view of the difficulties faced by the traders in generating the e-way bill due to initial technical glitches in the GST Network, it was earlier decided by the GST Council to extend the trial phase for generation of e-way bills, both for inter-state and intra-state movement of goods.
In its meeting in February, a group of ministers headed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi recommended April 1 as the date for compulsory implementation of the system for inter-state goods movement.