GST: E-way bill to help monitor interstate movement of goods

Headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley the meeting will be held via video conferencing and deliberate on cementing gaps in the system as well as curbing evasion

Headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley the meeting will be held via video conferencing and deliberate on cementing gaps in the system as well as curbing evasion

CAIT though welcomes the decision but it should be implemented from April 1, the association said in a statement. "The sudden meeting of the GST Council signifies that the issue of e-way Bills is very serious and there is a concern over potential revenue leakages in the absence of a nationwide uniform tracking platform", Mr. Mani said.

"As per the schedule of implementation, the nationwide e-way bill system will be ready to be rolled out on a trial basis latest by January 16, 2018".

The e-way bill provisions were approved by the GST Council in its meeting on August 5 and were subsequently notified on August 30.

"Till such time as National e-way bill is ready, the States were authorised to continue their own separate e-way bill systems", the government said in a statement.

Starting February 1, 2018, all interstate movement of goods will be tracked with the introduction of the e-way bill system under the Goods and Services Tax regime, the GST Council decided at its 24th meeting on Saturday.

Trade and transporters can start using this system on a voluntary basis from January 16. Under the GST rule, goods worth more than Rs 50,000 within or outside a state will require securing an electronic-way or e-way bill.

However, it was represented by the trade and transporters that this is causing undue hardship in the inter-state movement of goods and, therefore, bringing in an early all-India system of e-Way Bill has become a necessity. It added that states can choose their own timings for implementation of the Bill for intra-state movement of goods on any date before June 1, 2018.

"In local sales many times goods moved for sample purposes or even return on excess quantity or on other quality issues".

During the 22nd monthly GST Council meeting in October, Jaitley had declared that the e-way bill be introduced across India in a staggered manner from 1 January 2018 and the document will be made compulsory by 1 April 2018.

The GST Council will also be deliberating on reverse charge mechanism, ways to curb tax evasion, and also the restoration of SME supply chain. Tax evasion was one of the reasons cited by the Government for the fall in revenue collection in October.

"The fair balance for mandatory inter-state e-way bill compliance from February 1 will have to be maintained".

However, the need to review the rollout timeline stems from revenue shortfall registered last month.

While the projected collection at 14 per cent growth was Rs 1,72,000 crore, the actual figure realised had been Rs 1,36,000 crore, resulting in a deficit of Rs 36,000 crore for the first four months till November, Mitra, who is also a GST Council member, said on the sidelines of an event in the eastern city.

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