It has been more than two weeks that the e-way bill was made compulsory for inter-state movement of goods. Given that the capacity of the e-way bill portal was beefed up to handle around 75 lakh inter-state e-way bills on a daily basis, not much trouble was faced on April 1, barring a down-time of two hours which disrupted businesses for a while.
Having said that, overall the implementation was a success, with Karnataka also rolling out its intra-state e-way bill system at the same time, becoming the first state to do so. In these last two weeks, over 1.22 crore e-way bills have been generated from the e-way bill portal, and 543 verification reports have been uploaded by tax officials, as per the government records.
This roughly puts the average number of e-way bills generated per day at a little over 7 lakh – which goes on to show that the government indeed was well prepared this time to handle the load, in fact up to nine or ten times of actuals.
What is also commendable, is that the phase wise implementation of the e-way bill is also progressing as per plan. On Sunday, April 15, e-way bills were made compulsory for movement of goods within and across five states – Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana and Kerala.
As per the government records, nine states have generated 82% of the total e-way bills so far – with Gujarat being the major state in terms of intra-state e-way bill generation, followed by Karnataka and Maharashtra. The most recent phase of the e-way bill rollout was on Friday, April 20 which saw intra-state e-way bills go live in six more states, which are Bihar, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tripura and Uttarakhand. Going by the way, the roll-out has gone so far, the Council’s dream of a nation-wide implementation by June 1, does seem quite feasible.
At this point in time, it can be safely assumed, that with each passing day, the e-way bill is bound to iron out the wrinkles of tax evasion across state borders. For instance, in Madhya Pradesh, about 80 teams have been assigned by the commercial tax department to conduct mobile checking of vehicles, and within the first half of April, already 100 vehicles have been detained, for violating the e-way bill norms.
Quite a few number of trucks in other places have been stopped, after they were found transporting goods either with faulty bills or without registration. Given the alertness of the government, one can expect more such initiatives to ensure that businesses and transporters stay compliant.
While the government is doing their due-diligence, it has become extremely critical for businesses to adopt a solution which assists in generating and managing e-Way Bills, and at the same time facilitates recording and maintenance of accurate invoices.
The software should also mitigate repetitive tasks and allow the flexibility of generating JSON for a single invoice or, a single JSON for multiple invoices along with ease of handling any exceptions. Together with technology, and the initiatives of the government, we are sure to smoothen trade and industry processes, thus making life simpler for both businesses and transporters.
The writer is Executive Director, Tally Solutions.