With just three days left for the e-way bill roll out, the government has asked businesses and transporters to enrol on the dedicated platform, as only around 11 lakh entities have registered so far. This compares to 1.05 crore registered businesses under the GST and about 70 lakh filing returns.
The e-way bill provision of the goods and services tax (GST) was first introduced on 01st February’18, but its implementation was put on hold after the system developed glitches in generating permits. Now, the e-way system has been upgraded to handle 75 lakh inter-state E-way bills on a daily basis. Organizations would be required to present the Electronic-Way (E-way) Bill to a GST inspector (if asked) for inter-state transportation of goods worth over INR 50000.
Presently, e-way bill operations are not available for intra-state (within the state) movement of goods, except for Karnataka State.
E-way bill operations for intra-state (within the state) will be made available in a phased manner as and when instructed by GST Council.
Cases where E-Way Bill is not required:
Transport of goods as specified in Annexure to Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017.
Goods being transported by a non-motorised conveyance (cycle, cycle-rickshaw, hand carts etc.)
Goods being transported from the Port, Airport, Air cargo complex & Land customs station to an Inland Container Depot or a Container Freight Station for clearance by Customs.
In respect of movement of goods within such areas as are notified under rule 138(14) (d) of the SGST Rules, 2017 of the concerned State.
Consignment value less than INR 50000/-
Where empty cargo containers are being transported.
Where goods are being transported as transit cargo from or to Nepal or Bhutan.
Consequences of non-conformance to E-way bill rules:If e-way bills, wherever required, are not issued in accordance with the provisions, the same will be considered as contravention of rules. As per Section 122 of the CGST Act, 2017, a taxable person who transports any taxable goods without the cover of specified documents (e-way bill is one of the specified documents) shall be liable to a penalty of INR 10000 or tax sought to be evaded (wherever applicable), whichever is greater.
Cancellation of E Way Bill:Where an E-Way Bill has been generated, but goods are either not transported at all or are not transported as per the details furnished in the e-way bill. E-way bill can be cancelled within 24 hours of generation of the E-way bill. However, an E-way bill cannot be cancelled if it has been verified in transit in accordance with the provisions of rule 138B.
E-Way Bill System:E-Way Bill system is being developed by the National Informatics Company (NIC) and is being monitored by the GST Network. After initially hiccups, we have found system more responsive and user friendly. No glitches were found while registering or updating information. But, what happens on 01st April and whether system can take the load of lakhs of E-Way Bills being generated is the question. Whatever may be the outcome, E-Way Bill is going to stay here (just like GST) and sooner we accept the fact, better it’s for everyone.
Final Comments:We at CONBOX believes that, implementation of E-way Bill is in right direction and will surely help to bring more transparency and associated accountability. Further, this will also force Logistics companies to move towards better systems and processes, which will surely help Indian Logistics sector in long term. At a same time, we can’t ignore the fact that, many transporters (especially in the smaller towns) will face challenges in making E-way Bills (due to various factors). Also, we can’t ignore the on-road harassment and associated corruption.
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