🖈 Standard / 👨 by Shipyaari / 📅 February 9th, 2018
The Transforming Impact of E-Way Bill
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) that came into effect in July 2017 promises to rectify numerous anomalies in the existing supply chain. E-way bill, was earlier set to be compulsorily implemented from February 01, 2018. However, its roll-out is deferred now to a later date. Thisis anticipated as an important reform under the GST regime to weed out restrictions in the smooth movement of goods for interstate as well as intra-state transportation. Let’s examine what the e-way bill actually is and what it holds for the future?
Introduction to E-way Bill
The paper-based waybills that the transporters need to carry during goods consignments are set to be replaced by their digital counterparts, the e-way bills. In other words, an e-way bill is the digitally-generated pre-signed order specifying all important details, including those of the consignor, consignee, transporter, transportation vehicles and consignments. This need not be physically carriedand can be accessed at any point of time for the purposeslike aninspection.
Important Things to Note about E-Way Bill
- The trial-based implementation of e-bill (for inter-state goodsconsignment) began on January 16,2018, while was earlier announced to be compulsorily effective from February 01.Presently, the uniform launch date of 1st February has been deferred.
- Four states, namely Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, have already mandated the system.
- Implementation of e-way bills for intra-state goods movement will be from June 01. Though, 13 states will implement the same from February 01 itself.
- Users registered and unregistered with the e-way bill portal (ewaybill.nic.in) can generate e-way bills using GSTIN or Aadhaar/PAN Card. It can also be generated via SMS.
- Anyone among a consigner (sender), consignee (recipient) or transporter can generate an e-way bill.
- E-way bills are a must for consignments with atotal cost equal to or exceeding INR 50,000.
- Consignments travelling within 10 km. don’t need it, provided there is no state border crossed.
- The validity of e-way bills is 1 day for less than 100 km.; 3 days for 100-300 km.; 5 days for 300-500 km., 10 days for 500-1,000 km. and 15 days for more than 1,000 km.
- An e-way bill can be cancelled within 24 hours of generation.
- E-way bills are not required for movement of 154 designated goods categories.
What Are the Benefits?
E-way bills are expected to provide a number of benefits like:
- Keeping a check on GST evasions that would result in faultless tax administration
- Easy verification of consignments by the tax officers
- Elimination of check posts that would ultimately reduce waiting time and accelerate shipping time
- Reduction in the load of generating paper bills as a single e-way bill would serve the purpose
- Further time-saving through RFID-based tracking and inspection
- Absolute transparency in the entire consignment chain
What Are the Challenges?
At the nascent stage, the e-way bill setup is bound to face challenges like:
- Multiple e-bills must be generated for all the vehicles used in a multimodal consignment
- Internet availability and strength, especially in the rural areas
- Small transporters, and even consignors, need to be educated for the system
- Delay in consignment and the resulting expiration of e-way bills due to situations like vehicle breakdown, natural calamities and so on.
To leverage the benefits of e-way bills, these challenges need to be addressed. However, it is still hidden in the layersof future how exactly it proves to be a game changer.