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Indian Government makes e-Way Bill system mandatory for inter-State movement of goods

Indian Government makes e-Way Bill system mandatory for inter-State movement of goods

The Indian Government has made the e-Way
Bill system mandatory from 1 April 2018 for all inter-State movement of goods,
as part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. The e-Way Bill system had
been introduced
in January this year.

In July 2017 India implemented the GST which subsumes all
indirect taxes that were levied on goods and services and unified state and
federal taxes, thereby creating a single market within India.

The e-Way Bill is a document to be carried by the person in
charge of conveyance, generated electronically from the common portal. The e-Way
Bill can also be generated through an Android App, SMS, using Bulk Upload
Tool
and API
based site-to-site integration etc. Transporters can generate a consolidated
e-way Bill for vehicle carrying multiple consignments.

The idea behind the e-Way Bill is that the taxpayer has to
upload the details of each transaction to a common portal through the Internet,
and once uploaded, the common portal automatically generates a document which
can be tracked and verified easily by any stakeholder.

Previously, each consignment had to be accompanied by a
‘Delivery Note’ which were issued from the VAT offices to the taxpayers. At the
end of every month the taxpayer had to submit an utilisation statement of the
forms issued. The taxpayers had to make several visits to the tax office to get
the blank Delivery Notes. At check-posts the trucks, would get detained for a
long time on frivolous grounds

In order to overcome these challenges, a new system was
introduced where the taxpayer could upload the details of each transaction to
the departmental ‘Server’ through the internet, and the ‘Server’ would
automatically generate a Delivery Note with a unique number, which could accompany
the goods vehicle as a proof of having uploaded the transaction.

There are four key stakeholders of the e-Way Bill: 1)
Suppliers – Generate the e-Way Bills and reject the e-Way Bills generated by
other party against his/her name, if it does not belong to him/her; 2) Recipients
– Generate the e-Way Bills and reject the e-Way Bills generated by other party
against his/her name, if it does not belong to him/her; 3) Transporters –
Generate the e-Way Bills, consolidated e-Way Bills and update the vehicle
numbers for the e-Way Bills assigned to him for transportation by the
taxpayers; 4) Department Officers – Verify the e-Way Bills and consignments carried
with the e-Way Bills.

An officer authorised by the State can intercept any
conveyance to verify the e-Way Bill or the e-Way Bill number in physical form
for all inter-State and intra-State movement of goods. A summary report of
every inspection of goods in transit will be recorded online by the concerned officer
in specified format within twenty four hours of inspection and the final report
in specified format shall be recorded within three days of the inspection. If a
vehicle has been intercepted and detained for a period exceeding thirty
minutes, the transporter may upload the said information in a specified format
on the common portal.

On day one, a total of 259,000 e-Way Bills were generated on
the e-way bill portal. A total of 1,118,292 taxpayers had registered on e-Way
Bill Portal till 2 April. Further 20,057transportershave enrolled themselves on
the e-Way Bill Portal.

To assist and answer queries of taxpayers and transporters,
the Central helpdesk of GST has made special arrangements with 100 agents
exclusively dedicated to answer queries related to e-way bills. Separately,
state tax authorities have started helpdesk in local language, details of which
are available on the GST portal. Central as well as State Tax Authorities have
declared Nodal Officers for e-way bills. Detailed FAQs are kept on the portal
for the guidance of the users.

Transporters can create multiple Sub-Users and allocate
roles to them. This way large transporters can declare their various offices as
sub-users.

There is a provision for cancellation of e-way Bill within
24 hours by the person who has generated the e-way Bill. The recipient can also
reject the e-way Bill within validity period of e-way bill or 72 hours of
generation of the e-way bill by the consignor whichever is earlier.

The implementation of the nationwide e-Way Bill mechanism
under GST regime is being done by Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) in association with the National
Informatics Centre (NIC)and is being run on portal namely https://ewaybillgst.gov.in.

GSTN is a non-profit, non-government organisation (24.5%
shares held by central government, 24.5% by state governments and remainder by
non-government financial institutions), responsible for managing the IT system
for the GST regime. The portal is intended to be used by the government to
track financial transactions, and it will provide taxpayers with all relevant
services, from registration to filing taxes and maintaining and updating tax
details.