The GST Council, which held an urgent meeting via video conference on December 16, approved mandatory compliance of the e-Way Bill to ease traders concerns and check tax evasion. With this decision, the e-way bill for the inter-state movement got advanced to February 1 from April 1, while the trail began from January 16.
The E-way bill requires online pre-registration of goods before transportation under the new GST regime. 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.
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 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. 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.
The next GST Council meeting is scheduled on January 18, and simplification of tax returns may be on priority. The tax rate fitment committee may also look into any potential rate changes. The meeting, which is scheduled next week, comes against the backdrop of lower GST collections and higher than the Budgeted fiscal deficit. Some media reports suggested that natural gas and aviation turbine fuel (ATF) may soon come under the GST, while real-estate, petrol, diesel and electricity will take more time.