The GST Council in its 22nd meeting persisted 6th November, 2017 had decided and recommended that the e-way bill under Goods & Service Tax shall be introduced during a staged manner with effect from first of January, 2018, and can be fully controlled nationwide from the first of April, 2018. In other words, the implementation of the e-way bill was deferred till March 2018, so on give businesses longer to more acclimatized to the varied changes brought in by the GST era. However, at the recently concluded 24th GST council meeting persisted the 16th of December, 2017, the GST Council members have sprung a surprise at the businessmen by announcing the e-way bill notification, to be live from the first of February, 2018, two months before the sooner plan.

In the recent meeting of 25th GST Council meeting persisted the 19th of January, 2018, it had been formally announced that the testing facility for registration, cancellation, modification and generation of e-way bills was provided on the official Goods & Service Tax e-way bill portal i.e. ewaybill.nic.in. As you read this, the states of Karnataka, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala and Haryana have started e-way bill trial runs, and the portal is already witnessing about 2 lakh e-way bills being generated on a day to day . From 1st February, 2018, the system is anticipated to be fully functional for intra-state and inter-state at an equivalent portal.

What we already know about the e-way bill?

Under Goods & Service Tax, transporting products worth over INR 50,000 within or outside a State or a country would require an e-way or e-way bill via prior online or offline registration of the consignment. To generate an e-way bill, the supplier and transporter will need to upload details on the GST portal, post which a singular e-way bill number (EBN) are going to be made available to the supplier, the recipient and therefore the transporter on the common portal.

Why has the e-way bill been preponed?

The e-way bill GST provisions had primarily targeted one national level e-way bill, which may be utilized by suppliers and transporters all across the country. Till such of the time as this international or national e-way bill was ready, the States were recognized to continue with their own separate e-way bill systems. The Another reason might be the fall within the Goods & Service Tax revenue collections within the months of November & December, much of which was attributed to evasion , resulting from the absence of a robust mechanism to watch inter-State supplies. As a result the Goods & Service Tax Council, reviewed the readiness of the precondition software and hardware required for the nationwide or international rollout of e-way bill, and has announced the renewed date, post discussions with all the States.

Major e-way bill notifications under GST

The major GST purpose with regards to the e-way bill warnings are as follows:

  • The detailed points for employment of the nationwide electronic-way bill system for inter-State movement of goods on a compulsory basis are getting to be notified with effect from 1st January, 2018.
  • While the system to compulsion both inter-State and intra-State electronic-way bill are getting to be ready by 17th February, 2018, the States or Country may choose their own timings for employment of electronic-way bill for intra-State movement of products on any date before 1st July, 2018. However, since there are certain States which are already having a system of e-way bill for intra-State also as inter-State movement of products , they’ll be expected to be the first adopters of the national e-way bill system for intra-State movement also.
  • The final deadline to implement the uniform system of e-way bill for inter-State also as intra-State movement across the country are going to be , the first of June, 2018.
Basis Inter-State Intra-State
Voluntary E-way bill Implementation Starts 16-1-2018 16-1-2018
Compulsory Electronic-way bill Implementation Starts 1-3-2018 No Fixed Date. States can prefer to implement any date before 1-6-2018
Final Deadline for E-way bill Implementation 1-6-2018 1-6-2018

While the electronic-way bill has been conceptualized watching the larger image of rebate in evasion , seamless inter-State or Country transportation of goods and minimal loss of some time at check-points, it has to be ably supported by a robust employment. To begin with, another clarity about the application of electronic-way bill on supplies exempt from Goods & Service Tax is awaited from the GST Council. Also, care should be taken that the compulsory introduction of e-way bill, 2 months beforehand , doesn’t become a drag for businesses engaged in inter-State supplies.

In conclusion, as long as the implementation is taken care of, the e-way bill in its new avatar could convince be a robust mechanism to form the taxpayer accountable in the absence of the statement matching structure, which is recently postponed. The faster all the States accept and implement the e-way bill system, the faster will the whole country be ready to walk towards a national uniform e-way bill process, which will be beneficial for all inter-State suppliers.

Credits: Tally Solutions

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