E-way bill concern: Why moving goods under GST can come to a grinding halt

Weeks before Goods and Services (GST) rolls out, the Government on Sunday revised the rate of tax on 66 items. However, the failure to address provisions around way bills or e-way bills has raised very serious concern among business and industry owner.
How important and what ise-waybill?
An e-way bill is in fact the underpinning of GST which talks about the seamless movement of goods and services. If you want to move goods worth more than Rs 50,000 under GST, you will need prior online registration of the consignment and secure an ‘e-way bill’ that tax officials can inspect anytime during the transit to check tax evasion. In a nutshell, without an e-way bill, goods worth over Rs 50,000 simply cannot move.
“The issue on way bill is very significant. The core of GST is to have unrestricted movement of goods across the country and make one common market. Making one common market gets impeded if we have a system which makes it difficult to move goods,” says Deloitte India, Senior Director, MS Mani.
According to Mani, one of the key issues around e-way bills is that the validity of the bill depends on the distance that the goods were to travel. For example, if the distance to be covered is between 500-1000 km, the number of days the e-way bill is valid is for 10 days. This table shows the validity of a bill, according to kilometer (km) travelled.
“Possibly, we do not need a prescription on when goods should reach from point A to Point B. This is the function of various other functions like type of goods, infrastructure available, logistics capabilities,” says Mani.
If, for example, you have to transport heavy machinery like a Boiler on a specialized truck, the number of days it may take for it to cover 500 km can be much more than 10 days.
“In the current stage it significantly dilutes the attractiveness of making India one common market place,” says Mani.
According to KPMG, Indirect Tax Partner, Priyajit Ghosh, the specific validity of way bills is a huge problem. “The stringent requirements will make things difficult,” he says.
Ghosh also flags off another issue. “The way bills will be a significant challenge in terms of the IT infrastructure for companies. Unlike a return, a way bill needs to be generated in real time along with the invoice. Unless a company has the IT system to support and generate way bills in real time, it will be a huge issue. We have very less time to get the necessary infrastructure up,” says Ghosh.
There are then issues like, a new e-way bill should be generated whenever the mode of transport of a consignment is changed. This can be a serious problem for ecommerce companies that use various modes of transport for delivery of the same item. Another provision says e-way bills generated for goods not transported must be cancelled within 24 hours. They cannot be cancelled if verified during transit. Such issues have not been tackled and left for the June 18 meeting.
Touch and go
According to Mani, we find ourselves in a touch and go situation. “This has both a good and a bad side. The good side is that all changes that we are seeing now will benefit the business. The bad side is that each of these changes will lead to a major overhaul of businesses, which take time to implement. This will make it very difficult and there is no doubt we have a challenging time implementing these decisions,” says Mani.
So is deferring GST to September the answer? The finance minister is clear that July 1 would be the roll out date for GST and that companies will figure things out as they get near the deadline for GST.
Another aspect the government would have to consider is that by delaying it, you would be implementing GST around the festive season. For many businesses, festive season accounts for 40-50% of their total sales. Another issue can be that the crucial state of Gujarat will soon go for state polls and the government would not want to antagonize the strong trading community in the state.
Experts say one way to get around the system would be to roll out GST on July 1, but are made by an industry friendly, no penalty/interest window for the first six months after implementation.

Source : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/policy-trends/e-way-bill-concern-why-moving-goods-under-gst-can-come-to-a-grinding-halt/articleshow/59106238.cms

One Reply to “E-way bill concern: Why moving goods under GST can come to a grinding halt”

  1. Atul Pandya says:

    Seems writer is not aware of Form 402 in VAT system.
    Form 402 in VAT system in now E-Way bill. It is already running in many states successfully.
    When it can work for VAT then why it can fail in GST?
    Writer is un-necessarily trying to scare people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Solve this and then Post Comment *

scroll to top