Way bill on agenda for GST Council meeting tomorrow

Gladys Abbott
December 17, 2017

Accordingly, the sources added the finance ministry had sought Cabinet nod for the replacement of the ordinance by the Goods and Service Tax (Compensation to States) Bill, 2017.

The council, which met through video-conferencing, had earlier said that electronic invoices would be required for inter-state transfers from April 1.

It further said that imposition of intra State e-way bill will be counter productive for smooth transactions of goods and services. A GST advisory committee, chaired by Confederation of All India Traders secretary general Praveen Khandelwal, had earlier suggested deferment of e-way bill till 2019.

Under the e-way mechanism, all goods worth over Rs 50,000 will have to be pre-registered online before they are moved for sale beyond 10 km.

Earlier, states were authorised to continue their own separate e-way bill systems till the time one such system on a national-scale was ready.

Starting February 1, 2018, all interstate movement of goods will be tracked with the introduction of the e-way bill system under the Goods and Services Tax regime, the GST Council decided at its 24th meeting on Saturday. After the latest decision on Saturday, Khandelwal said the e-way Bill should be implemented from April 1 instead of February 1.

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"But in any case, the uniform system of e-way bill for inter-state as well as intra-state movement will be implemented across the country by June 1, 2018", it said.

While the System for both inter-State and intra-State e-way Bill generation will be ready by 16th January, 2018, the States may choose their own timings for implementation of e-way Bill for intra-State movement of goods on any date before 1st June, 2018.

In its 22nd meeting held on October 6, the GST Council had put the rollout of e-way bill in abeyance as there were concerns related to the functioning of the GST Network (GSTN) portal.

Pratik Jain, leader (indirect tax), PwC India, said it was important to ensure that all states have common e-way bills and that suggestions from industry for simplification are taken into consideration. A waybill is a physical document that allows movement of goods, where compliance of waybills was an issue. Tax evasion was one of the reasons cited by the government of India for the fall in revenue collection in October.

The Council wants the system to cover the entire movement of goods within and across states from June.

While the projected collection at 14 per cent growth was Rs 1,72,000 crore, the actual figure realised had been Rs 1,36,000 crore, resulting in a deficit of Rs 36,000 crore for the first four months till November, Mitra, who is also a GST Council member, said on the sidelines of an event in the eastern city.

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