By Prarthana Mitra
With the inter-state e-way bill slated to be in motion from April 1, the Finance Ministry on Wednesday reminded enterprises and transporters who haven’t registered on the platform to do so as early as possible. The announcement came from a Group of Ministers (GoM) ordained with the responsibility to oversee the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) under the indirect tax regime.
Starting next week, the bill will mandate all businesses to present the electronic waybill (e-way) to the GST inspector during interstate transportation of goods via road, rail, air and waterways. Businesses with consignments worth Rs 50,000 or above, all qualify for enrolment under this new rule. The bill has been introduced to curb tax-evasions and increase tax collections by reducing cash-based trade.
Technical issues with new system resolved
Prakash Kumar, the chief executive officer of the goods and services tax network (GSTN) said that only 11 lakh businesses and transporters out of the 1.5 crore registered under the GST have enrolled themselves on the e-way bill platform. He added he is certain there will be a last-minute surge in registrations as the deadline draws closer.
GSTN chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey said that the IT infrastructure, designed and developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC), would be able to cater to the load.
Kumar added that the technical glitches in the system generating permits which prevented the bill from being implemented shortly after it was introduced on February 1 have been addressed. “We have tested the system for the number of e-way bills that can be generated,” he said in an interview with Mint.“We have prepared the system for 75 lakh e-way bills daily as against 26 lakh before.”
Inter-state e-way bill launches in two days, intra-state to follow
Following the snag in the e-way bill portal on February 1, the Finance Ministry along with the GSTN decided to start with inter-state e-way bills from 1 April and then move to intra-state later. Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia announced that the intra-state bill for movement of goods will be launched two weeks after the inter-state roll out. The program will be launched in a series of staggered phases since it is not feasible to estimate intra-state volumes easily.
Adhia commended the GST network for its preparedness in monitoring the new system but expressed concern about the lack of enthusiasm from the traders and transporters, appealing to them for speedy enrolment on the system within the next two days.
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