With less than a week to go for the E-Way Bill to become a mandatory requirement under the Goods and Services Tax for transport of most goods, many companies have started making trial runs while the government is working to ensure its smooth roll out.
Over two lakh E-Way Bills are also being generated every day in the trial runs, which began on a mandatory basis from January 16. It will be compulsory from February 1.
“On January 24, as many as 2.16 E-Way Bills were generated by taxpayers across 34 States,” said GSTN CEO Prakash Kumar told BusinessLine.
Between January 17 and 24, 14.7 lakh such bills were generated.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs has already notified the rules for the E-Way Bill as well as a new website for registering and generating E-Way Bills.
“We are working for a smooth transition to the E-Way Bill. All States and Union Territories are on board and IT systems are working,” said another official.
The GSTN, which is working with the NIC on the project, estimates that about seven to eight lakh E-Way Bills will be generated for inter-State transport of goods.
“The system is designed for generating 42 lakh to 45 lakh Bills every day,” said Kumar.
About 3.5 lakh GST payers have already registered on the website along with another 4,000 people who are not registered for GST.
The E-Way Bill is required for inter-State movement of goods beyond 10 km that cost over ₹50,000 in all States. Another 15 States will also start E-Way Bills for intra-State movement.
According to industry experts, companies are also slowly gearing up for the new system, although the level of preparedness of large- and mid-sized firms is better than that of smaller units.
“With a fortnight of trial runs, everyone is trying to do one transport using the E-Way Bill. Some are planning it in the next week,” noted an expert.
However, many are still cautious about the implementation and the impact of the E-Way Bill.
“The intention of the E-Way Bill is good but it could have been implemented in a simpler manner. It can simplify the transporter’s life as he can create a folder with all the invoices, which are linked and can be verified easily. But by pushing it as a document that has to be created by the supplier or the buyer, is has become complex,” said Bharat Goenka, Managing Director, Tally Solutions, pointing out that companies are already expected to upload their invoices on the GST website.
“We have raised technical issues with the NIC on the E-Way Bill and also tax related issues with the government. GST was a great game changer but we are not sure how the E-Way Bill will help in trade facilitation,” said Vijay Kumar, COO, Express Industry Council of India.