E-way bills were made compulsory for movement of goods within and across five states - Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Kerala - on Sunday. Other states will come under the system in a phased manner. Around 240,000 e-way bills (inter state and intra-state) were generated on the portal yesterday. Traders and transporters operating in these states have been mandated to register, or enroll, on the e-way bill portal.
A GST council official said the number of bills did not go up significantly on account of intra-state roll out on Sunday. One of the major reasons, he said, could be that Gujarat has mandated e-way bill for intra-state movement for only 19 items, including edible oil, oil cakes, ceramic tiles, iron and steel, processed tobacco, gutkha, cigarette, cement, timber products, tea, marble and granite.
The rollout is part of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council's mission to rollout nationwide electronic permits for all goods worth Rs 50,000, or more, and local transportation beyond 50 km. The council intends to adopt the system at all levels by June 1.
Karnataka was the only state to implement the intra-state movement of goods on April 1 along with nationwide inter-state shipments.
A statement issued by the Finance Ministry on April 9 said that more than six million e-way bills had been generated since April 1. "The intra-state roll-out of e-way bill system is expected to smoothen trade and industry, and eventually pave the way for a nationwide single e-Way Bill system," said the statement.
The e-way bill was introduced as an anti-tax evasion feature under Goods and Service Tax, which will give a clearer picture of value of goods transported, thereby bringing all informal transactions under the umbrella of the formal economy.
Experts and policy makers said e-way bills can boost GST revenue collection, which, over the past few months, has not met the expectations. In March, GST revenue stood at Rs 85,174 crore, which was less than the collection in the previous month.