The GST Council on Saturday approved an early roll-out of the e-Way bill for the inter-state movement of goods from February 1, 2018. The GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, held an urgent meeting via video conferencing to advance the roll-out of the bill from February 1 instead of April 1.
The need to review the rollout timeline stems from the revenue shortfall registered last month as for October it stood at Rs 83,346 crore, the lowest compared to the first three months since the implementation of GST from July 1. It was significantly down from the September figure of Rs 95,131 crore.
Here’s all you need to know about the e-Way Bill:
1. An e-way bill is required for movement of goods worth more than Rs 50,000. When goods are transported for less than 10 km within a state, the supplier or the transporter need not furnish details on the GST portal.
2. The e-way bill mechanism has been introduced in the GST regime to plug tax evasion loopholes. Tax evasion was one of the reasons cited by the government for the fall in revenue collection in October.
3. The GST Council has fixed February 1 as the compliance date for inter-state movement of goods. The e-way bill facility bill will be available for the trial run from January 15.
4. The GST Council has approved mandatory compliance of e-way bill for intra-state movement of goods from June 1. However, some states might roll out both inter-state and intra-state e-Way Bill from February 1 on a voluntary basis.
5. According to Arun Jaitley revenue collection from the GST could pick up after the e-Way bill kicks in.
6. The GST Council also reviewed the progress of readiness of hardware and software required for the introduction of nationwide e-way Bill System.
7. The e-Way bill is understood to be easing traders’ concerns by simplifying the process and easing the compliance burden.
8. Since the e-Way Bill can be generated through a smartphone and can be sent via SMS, it would make the day-to-day inter-state trading easier.
First published on 16 December 2017 on www.financialexpress.com