Intra-state rollout of E-way bills soon

Intra-state rollout of E-way bills soon

The government may soon announce the rollout schedule for electronic way bills in intra-state sales under the goods and services tax regime, buoyed by the smooth implementation of the system for inter-state movement on April 1.

The government is also confident of meeting the revised fiscal deficit target for FY18 following improved direct and indirect tax collections. February GST collections rose to over Rs 89,264 crore, up from Rs 88,047 crore in January. It ruled out any cut in excise duty to ease the recent spike in fuel prices.“E-way rollout has been successful —there is no glitch so far,” finance secretary Hasmukh Adhia said on Monday. A total of 28.9 million eway bills were generated on Monday against 25.9 million on Sunday, the first day of the nationwide rollout of the framework that’s expected to help check tax evasion.

The e-way bill system had collapsed when it was first introduced in trials in February, forcing the government to defer its implementation. In the first phase, e-way bills have been introduced only for interstate movement.Adhia said the system has the capacity to take on additional load and the rollout schedule for the intrastate movement of goods will be announced soon.

The e-way bill is a kind of permit for the transport of goods exceeding Rs 50,000 in value. It provides details of the items being transported and where they’re headed. It is generated using the GST Common Portal by registered persons or transporters moving the goods. Just before its rollout, the government had announced new rules making the process easier besides providing a few relaxations.

“Hourly rate for generation of e-way bill is 60,000 per hour… We are also prepared with higher capacity,” said GSTN chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey.He said a total of 1.12 million taxpayers have registered on e-way bill portal and 20,057 transporters have enrolled.Pandey said 100 agents are available on call to attend to queries of users. Separately, state tax authorities have also set up help desks in local languages.Abhishek Jain, tax partner at EY India, said the system will face further tests in the coming days.

“Day two of the e-way bill portal was largely smooth. But the real load test is still to be seen as the volume of e-way bills generated on day two as well were low because of year-end procedures like stock counting,” he said. “Also, the department has deployed anti-evasion squads for checking e-way bills, which if it becomes too frequent would entail undue bottleneck in the movement of goods.”

The Economic Times, New Delhi, 03rd March 2018

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