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Implementation of GST e-way bill postponed by few months – Centre

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The centre suggested that the “implementation of the ‘e-way bill’ system could be postponed by a few month. The ‘e-way bill’ requires movement of goods above Rs 50, 000 to be pre-registered online, on the GSTN website. The GST Council headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley along with representatives from the states had sat in April come out with the draft e-way bill rules.

 

The GST Council agreed to rope in the National Informatics Centre (NIC) to work along with the GST-Network (GSTN) to assess if an all India e-way bill system can be created in a short time-frame. As per the draft, GSTN would generate e-way bills that will be valid for 1-15 days, depending on distance to be travelled—one day for 100 km and 15 days for more than 1,000 km transit. The tax officials can inspect the ‘e-way bill’ anytime during the transit to check tax evasion.

 

The Industry, however, has expressed concerns over this saying that the Rs 50,000 limit was too low and that the timeline for completion of transport operation was “impractical and removed from reality”. They also felt that the e-way bill would be applicable to movement of all kinds of goods without making any distinction between goods that were evasion prone or not.

 

The official said that at the 3 June meeting of the GST Council, the centre contended that GSTN will be busy in the first three months of GST rollout as it has to ensure that technology backbone for the new indirect tax regime is working fine, and hence, would take about six months to build the platform for ‘e-way bill’. The official also said that the centre told the council that the GSTN has already floated tender inviting companies for developing the software for ‘e-way bill’ system and the process for selection of bidders would take about two months. The selected bidder would then take further about three months to develop the software which will be tested and then rolled out.

 

The centre also said that feedback from the industry was yet to be examined by the law committee, and hence, finalisation of rules would take some time. The GSTN can start developing the software only after finalisation of rules and forms.

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