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GST Council approves early rollout of e-way bill, system to be available from January 16

The nationwide e-way bill system will be available on trial basis from January 16, 2018 for traders and transporters to use voluntarily. The rules governing the compulsory implementation of the system will be notified on February 1, 2018.

twitter-logo BusinessToday.in   New Delhi     Last Updated: December 16, 2017  | 15:34 IST
GST Council approves early rollout of e-way bill, system to be available from January 16

The GST Council announced an early rollout of electronic-way bill at its 24th meeting today. The all-powerful panel of state ministers chaired Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had an urgent meeting through video conferencing to discuss implementation of e-way bill system under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

The GST Council reviewed the status of the hardware and software framework required for implementation of the e-way bill system. Following this, in consultation with the states, it was decided that the nationwide e-way bill system will be available on trial basis from January 16, 2018 for traders and transporters to use voluntarily.

The rules governing the compulsory implementation of the e-way bill system across India for inter-state movement of goods will be notified on February 1, 2018. These regulations will be meant to bring uniformity across states for seamless inter-state movement of goods, the government statement mentioned. During the 22nd monthly GST Council meeting in October, Jaitley had declared that the e-way bill be introduced across India in a staggered manner from January 1, 2018 and the document will be made compulsory by April 1, 2018.

Although the national e-way bill system will be available from January 16, states can choose their own dates earlier than June 1, 2018 for rolling out e-way bill. "There are certain States which are already having system of e-way Bill for intra-State as well as inter-State movement and some of those States can be early adopters of national e-way Bill system for intra-State movement also. 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 1st June, 2018," a government statement said.

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. However, representations from transporters and traders called for rollout of a national e-way system at the earliest as its absence was causing hindrances in inter-state movement of goods.

An e-way bill is required for movement of goods worth more than Rs 50,000. Under the GST regime, transporters will have to procure e-way bill from the GST Network portal when hauling goods worth more than Rs 50,000, within or outside a state. Provisions regarding the e-way bill were finalised in August earlier this year. The objective is to streamline movement of goods across and inside state borders and keep track of inter- and intra-state goods transport to check tax evasion.

To generate an e-way bill, the supplier and transporter will have to enter details of the haul in the GSTN portal. This will create an unique e-way bill number which will be sent to the supplier, transporter and the receiver. The e-way bill thus generated will be valid for a period of 15 days, with one day of travelling for 100 km and 15 days for more than 1,000 km transit.

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