Modi said the e-way bill which was originally supposed to be launched in April 1 this year, has now been preponed to February for inter-state movement of goods. The e-way bill for the intra-state movement of goods will be from June.
The group of ministers (GoM) of the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) expressed hope that the implementation of the e-way bill from February 1 will plug the leakages in GST revenue as collections have been on a decline in the last few months. “We are confident that leakages will be plugged and revenue will increase,” said, Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar deputy chief minister and head of the five-member GoM here on Wednesday following their periodic review meeting of GSTN. The GST collections, which were at Rs 92,283 crore in July last year had dropped to Rs 80,806 crore in November setting off alarm bells within the government over the shortfall. Modi said the e-way bill which was originally supposed to be launched in April 1 this year, has now been preponed to February for inter-state movement of goods. The e-way bill for the intra-state movement of goods will be from June.
Providing an example on the evasion of taxes, the GoM head said under the composition scheme of taxpayers, the collection has been Rs 310 crore from the 7.5 lakh returns filed in the last quarter. The composition scheme applies to those businesses which have an annual turnover of less than Rs 20 lakh. “When we analysed the data we were surprised. It means there is suppression of revenue and they are not paying the taxes of what is required,” he said. Providing other data points, Modi said the average revenue shortfall of all states in August was 28.3%, which had come down to 17.5% in October, but went up to 20.7% in December. As part of GST, there is also the compensation cess which is collected to meet any likely shortfall in revenue of the states. For the period between August and December, this cess has stood at Rs 7,615 crore.
The trail run of the e-way bill was started from January 15, and 14 states are on board with this new system. The Karnataka model of the e-way bill will be adopted across the country. Karnataka agriculture minister Krishna Byre Gowda, who is part of the GoM, said there is concern about the revenues going down and discussions were being held at various levels. “There is evasion, leakage and suppression, which is a fact,” he added. On the functioning of GSTN, the GoM was satisfied with the progress made by their technology partner Infosys in resolving the various technical glitches.