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The much-delayed e-way bill is finally being implemented from April 1st for interstate movement of goods. This e-way bill is a mandatory requirement to be generated under GST, for all interstate transportation of goods valued more than Rs.50,000.

It is an electronic documentation system designed to track the movement of goods and can be generated on the e way bill portal.

According to Sushil Kumar Modi, convenor of GoM, e-way bill will prevent tax evasion and he also expects Rs. 26 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh returns to be filed per day which is expected to go up to Rs. 75 lakh in future.

However, as per the GST council, the intrastate e-way bill will come into effect from April 15 in a phase-wise manner wherein, states will be divided into four zones to execute this phased implementation.

According to the finance ministry, the e-way bill is an electronic token that can be generated online and even through SMS. When an e-way bill is generated, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) or QR code will be allocated through these modes.

The supplier, recipient or transporter can generate the bill. These bills are linked to supply returns (GSTR1), therefore, generating e-way bill will automatically file returns for the same.

The validity of these bills depends upon the distance. For 100 km, the validity is 24 hours, after which another bill will have to be generated.

The penalty for non-generation of e-way is Rs 10,000 also goods and vehicles are subject to detention and seizure by the authorities.

Earlier, this bill was about to become mandatory from February 1st but was postponed as the system failed due to heavy load of about 4,80,000 bills generated on day one.

Now with the updated portal and better technological fixes, the system is ready to take a load of about 7 million bills in a day.

However, with e-way coming into effect from April 1, there are certain loopholes in the channel that might come as challenges for the users.

• The details required for generating an invoice have to be re-entered by the user in the e-way bill portal to generate the e-way bill thereby duplicating the work process.

•It will become difficult for multi-state movement of goods as every state will require a separate e-way bill portal login.

•There is no system to check if multiple e-way bills are generated on the same invoice number.

• Upon expiry of the e-way bill, all the information have to be punched again by the user.

•The system provides no provision of multiple warehouse address.

Although, certain alterations were done to e-way bills such as allowing job workers to generate these documents and providing larger validity period.

Now, it is to be seen in future whether the system can bear a load of lakhs of e-way bills on a daily basis, however, the government is confident that the system is ready to take the load and is assured that this step will help to boost tax collection.

Saanya Jain

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