E-way bill mandatory for inter-state movement of goods from tomorrow

All commercial movement of goods from one state to another, both by businesses and transporters, worth more than Rs50,000 will have to be accompanied by an electronic or e-way bill from 1 April.

The centre had, on 1 February, postponed the implementation of e-way bill system due to technical hiccups amidst opposition by the business community who saw it as a cumbersome procedure for many of them who are not tech savvy.
The GST Council had earlier decided on a staggered roll-out of the e-way bill starting with inter-state from 1 April and intra-state from 15 April.
The provision for e-way bill in the goods and services tax (GST) was first introduced on 1 February as an anti-evasion measure to help boost tax collections by clamping down on trade that currently happens on a cash basis.
However, its implementation had to be put on hold after the system developed technical snags in generating permits because of the crowding of e-way bill as several states also started generating intra-state e-way bills on the portal.
The GST Network, however, had only activated the facility for generating inter-state e-way bills when goods are transported from one state to another by either road, rail, air or river, so as to ensure a fool proof system.
“We will block any attempt to generate e-way bill for intra-state movement of goods,” an official said.
The GST Council, earlier this month, had decided on a staggered roll-out of the e-way bill starting with inter-state from April 1 and intra-state from April 15.
The platform has been made more robust and as many as 7.5 million inter-state e-way bills could be generated daily without any glitch. The system has been designed and developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
NIC has since conducted extensive tests so that it doesn’t develop snag at the last moment, officials said, adding that NIC has assured that the system should work fine from 1 April.
Meanwhile, the GST Network had advised all transporters and businesses to enrol on the portal for a trial on how to generate e-way bills.
Against 10.5 million registered businesses under GST, so far only a little over 1 million entities have registered on the e-way bill portal. Of the total registered businesses under the GST about 7 million are filing monthly returns.