Generation of an Electronic Waybill or E-Way Bill is required for Inter-State and Intra-State transportation of goods worth more than Rs 50,000. This is applicable to Goods and Services Tax (GST) rules.
At present, States are authorized to use separate E-Way Bill systems since a national E-Way Bill system hasn’t been implemented yet. Traders and transporters have expressed that this is causing difficulty in Inter-State movement of goods.
Tax evasion is easy since there are no border check posts now. Vehicles are moving from one State to another without documents. In order to reduce tax evasion and increase tax collection, GST Council had decided in October to introduce national E-Way Bill in phases from 1 January 2018 to be implemented eventually across India from 1 April 2018.
However, there has been a sharp decline in GST revenue to Rs 83,346 crore in October. This is a reduction by Rs 12,000 crore compared to a collection of Rs 95,131 crore in the previous month. This is the lowest since the implementation of GST. Tax evasion during Inter-State movement of goods is considered the main cause for this reduction in revenue.
Considering the above, it has become essential that an all India system of E-Way Bill should be introduced as early as possible. The new system can bring uniformity across the States for seamless Inter-State movement of goods. It is expected to counter tax evasion due to its invoice-matching characteristic. All taxable supplies will be matched against supplies received. Tax authorities will be able to track the Inter-State and Intra-State movement of goods.
At its meeting on 16 December 2017, GST Council reviewed the status of readiness of hardware and software required for a national E-Way Bill system. The following decisions were made after consultation with the States:
- Nationwide E-Way Bill system should be introduced on a trial basis latest by 16 January 2018.
- The system can be used on a voluntary basis by traders and transporters from 16 January 2018.
- Notification on Rules for implementation of nationwide E-Way Bill system for Inter-State movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be issued with effect from 1 February 2018.
- The States have to implement the nationwide E-Way Bill system for Intra-State movement of goods on any date of their choice before 1 June 2018.
- The States which already have a system of E-Way Bill can be early adopters of national E-Way Bill system.
- 1 June 2018 is the deadline for implementing the uniform system of E-Way Bill for Inter-State as well as an Intra-State movement of goods across the country.
What is E-Way Bill?
A waybill is a document issued by a carrier that transports goods. The bill gives details and instructions relating to shipment of goods. The details include the name of consignor (sender), the name of consignee (recipient), point of origin of consignment, its destination, and route.
Digitally generated waybill on the GST portal as required by GST law is called Electronic Way Bill (E-Way Bill). It is basically intended to ensure compliance. It is evidence of movement of goods. The person causing the movement of goods has to upload required information on the GST portal prior to the commencement of movement of goods and generate E-way Bill.
E-Way Bill has two Components
- Part A contains details of GSTIN of recipient, place of delivery (PIN Code), invoice or challan number & date, value of goods, HSN code, transport document number (Goods Receipt Number or Railway Receipt Number or Airway Bill Number or Bill of Lading Number) and reasons for transportation
- Part B contains transporter details (Vehicle number).
Who is expected to generate an E-Way Bill?
- If transportation is done by the consignor (sender) or consignee (recipient) in own/hired conveyance or by railways or by air or by Vessel, the consignor or consignee who owns/hires conveyance has to generate E-Way Bill.
- If goods are handed over to a transporter for transportation by road, the transporter has to generate E-Way Bill.
- If neither the consignor nor consignee generates E-Way Bill and value of goods is more than Rs 50,000/-, it is the responsibility of transporter to generate E-Way Bill.
- If goods are sent by a Principal located in one State to a job worker located in another State, the Principal has to generate E-Way Bill irrespective of the value of consignment.
- If handicraft goods are transported from one State to another by a person who does not need to obtain GST registration, the said person has to generate E-Way Bill irrespective of the value of goods.
- If goods are transported for less than 10km within the State, there is no need to upload details on the portal.
To generate an E-Way Bill, the supplier and transporter will have to upload details on the GST Network portal. A unique E-Way Bill Number (EBN) will be made available to the supplier, the recipient and the transporter on the common portal.
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