The e-way bill provisions require specified person like the consignor, consignee, transporter or other specified people to upload the prescribed information relating to the goods with consignment value of Rs 50,000 or more. Here are answers to all your questions.
By Anoop Kalavath
The government introduced a mechanism for tracking the movement of goods within the country popularly known as the electronic-way bill (e-way bill). The e-way bill provisions require specified person like the consignor, consignee, transporter or other specified people to upload the prescribed information relating to the goods with consignment value of Rs 50,000 or more. The primary objective of the e-way bill is to create electronic surveillance to ensure minimal tax evasion.
One needs to register on the e-way bill portal (www.ewaybillgst.gov.in) in order to access the portal and generate the e-way bill. The registered person may generate e-way bill either through the portal or by sending an SMS.
Following details are required to be uploaded for generation of the e-way bill:
Upon generation of the e-way bill, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) will be made available to the supplier, the recipient, and the transporter. The recipients of goods must, then, accept or reject the e-way bill within 72 hours, else e-way bill will automatically be accepted.
Any person with a GST registration needs to regularly check the portal to ensure that incorrect e-way bills are not being automatically accepted. The e-way bill recorded on the portal may be verified by the tax authorities during audit, inspection, or scrutiny.
Where the goods are supplied through an e-commerce operator or a courier agency, the e-way bill may be generated by such an e-commerce operator or courier agency. The validity of e-way bill depends on the distance to be travelled by the goods.
For a distance of less than 100 kms, the e-way bill will be valid for a day from the date of generation. For every 100 kms thereafter, the validity will be an additional one day. Further, in case of over-dimensional cargo for every 20 km, the e-way bill will be valid for an additional day.
If the goods are transported for a distance of up to 50 kms, within the State or Union territory from consignor’s business place to the transporter’s place, details of conveyance in Part B is not mandatory.
There may be instances where multiple vehicles are used for carrying the same consignment to its destination. In such situations, the transporter before transferring goods to another vehicle needs to update the vehicle details on the portal.
Transporters to carry a copy of invoice/delivery challan/bill of supply etc along with the e-way bill else, a penalty of Rs 10,000 or tax evaded whichever is higher shall be levied.
Essential commodities such as household goods, vegetables, cereals etc. are exempted from e-way bill requirements. Similarly, the e-way bill is not required for goods transported by a non-motorised conveyance. These measures are intended to ensure that no undue hardships are faced by the common man and small businesses on account of e-way bill provisions.
Where the goods are stopped for inspection, the officers are required to give a summary report within 24 hours and the final report within 3 days. Strict timelines ensure that trucks are not detained for the prolonged period at the whims and fancies of officers.
The successful rollout and digital policing will minimise human interventions /stoppage of vehicles, an improved turnaround of vehicles and help the logistics industry leading to a boost in the GDP and GST revenue collection by the government.
Anoop Kalavath is Senior Director, Deloitte India. Views expressed are the author’s own.