The e-Way Bill is one of the most important by-products of the Goods and Services Tax that was introduced in our country in July 2017. It is an electronically generated document that has been made mandatory for the transport of goods worth more than Rs 50000 from one place to another. A person (consignor, consignee or even a transporter) must generate the e Way bill for transporting goods from one state to another or within a state. It is one of the chief mechanisms by which the government aims to eradicate corrupt practices in the logistics sector and to prevent the evasion of taxes.
e-Way bill and Maharashtra
Maharashtra successfully implemented the intra-state e-Way bill last Friday and launched the second phase of the electronic way bill in the state. This naturally implies that the electronic document has to be generated and carried by transporters for ferrying goods worth more than Rs 50,000 in the state.
GST addressed the issue of rampant tax evasion in the transportation of goods by creating a common portal for the generation of the Bill whereby a unique e Way Bill number is assigned to the consignor, consignee and the transporter.
Maharashtra have been at the fore front of the revolutionary phenomenon in the domain of logistics. It had implemented the inter-state Bill for the transport of goods in April. It has seen success in the first two months of its implementation as 1.75 lakh dealers had registered themselves on the e-Way Bill portal. This information has been divulged by the joint commissioner of state border check post A Shaila. Furthermore, more than 3700 transporters in the state are also registered on the portal.
“The process of generating an e-way bill is very simple. It can be done on the website in a few simple steps. Transporters only have to fill in simple details such as mode of transport and vehicle number. Only in case the dealer has not generated the e way bill, the transporter has to generate one.”
According to Ms. Shaila, the state generates more than 1 lakh bills on average per day. But, she also conceded that this number is lower than the daily average of neighbouring states which have less transporters who are registered on the portal. A strict advisory has been issued by Ms. Shaila in April to dealers warning them that they will face consequences if they do not adhere to the guidelines of the Bill portal.
Problems with implementation
In response to queries about the various problems still plaguing the implementation of the e-Way bills, Shaila said that helpdesks have been set up for dealers and transporters to help them with the processes of registration, enrolment and generation of e-Way bills. She said,
“Regular training and massive camps are held across the country by the department as well as the traders’ associations.”
Inspite of the problems that transporters and dealers may face today due to the new system, one thing is for sure that the earlier system of Way bills was inherently flawed and massive evasion of taxes were the norm. The new system will help to overcome these problems.