SPOTLIGHT E-way Bill: Making Way for Easy Transit
e-way bill is supposed to reduce complexity of transit during goods transport but it rather have become a tedious process for business owners and transporters to understand. Adding on crashing of the system on the launch date has further created a ruckus among users.
The e-way bill is basically the backbone of the GST process and is aimed to reduce the time and cost of logistics sector as well as of the state officials. The system was designed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) while GSTN is looking after the implementation of the system. The system was supposed to handle 5 to 6 lakh bill entry in a day, but it crashed as 2 to 3 lakh bills were generated in an hour. However, there is no going back on e-way bill and it will be re-introduced in some time after the system is fully ready; according to a government official. The finance ministry has also sought a report from the GSTN on this matter.
Whereas, politicians have different views on the bill. CPM leader and Kerala finance minister T M Thomas Isaac said, the state governments should be empowered to decide on implementation of e-way bill based on the nature of the products and the industry.
Every manufacturer should generate e-way bill if they want to transport goods worth beyond Rs 50,000 and 10km within the state. In case of the other states, it is mandatory, the minister said.
“The e-way bill can be implemented if the goods would be transported to other states but if it is within state, the respective state governments should be allowed to decide on it based on the nature of products and the industry,” said Thomas.
Meanwhile, transporters and business owners are worried as most of their consignments got stuck and now the date of the re-launch of the system has not been decided yet; this has led to massive loss of crores of money in one day and also paving a way for tax evasion.
Advocating the e-way bill, Tejas Goenka, Executive Director at Tally Solutions said, This is probably the time, when we need to gather our thoughts together, and look at the e-way bill objectively. The current situation notwithstanding, technical glitches should not be the reason, why the long term benefits of the e-way bill start getting ignored, and the potential it has towards making India truly - one nation, one market, one tax - should not be forgotten.
One of the key achievements of the e-way bill will surely be the effective dissolution of state borders. The amount of time wasted at state borders to validate documents with regards to inter-state movements of goods, coupled with the fact that each state had its own format of declaration forms, permits and waybills, was obviously a hindrance to any business which dared to spread its wings, beyond its home state.
Documentation, necessarily meant human intervention, and human interven- tion kept the scope open for tax evasion and corruption. With the e-way bill coming in, the supplier, the recipient and the transporter will all be on one platform, and with the joint participation of all three entities, one single document, generated with the government’s approval will accompany all consignments and will be valid across the nation.”
West Delhi based Computer Media Dealers Association recently conducted a workshop to understand the process of e-way bill and its compliance. The event held on 3rd February in Indian Habitat Centre. The gathering witnessed presence of 40 business owners who were guided by partners of the AHPN & Associates; a CA firm in New Delhi.
“The purpose of this workshop was to create awareness among traders and members of the dealers association; and we also wanted to know the amendments and additions in the GST bill. People still are not very well aware about the e-way bill and its process and its repercussions.
Traders are still worried about the bill as it’s a very tedious process, especially
for the transporters. And I am not sure how it will go about, we are very much apprehensive that transportation cost will go up manifolds.” Said Manoj Khanna, member of CMDA. Saket Kapoor, General Secretary of FAIITA said, “We participated in the e-way bill session and indeed it was an enlightening session for any owner driven business. Owner should be aware of the liabilities and responsibilities for the success of their business. By attending this event we have gained that value. E-way bill is a complicated procedure and it needs lot of simplifications. But in turn it will increase the over head of the organization so we need to know the process thoroughly.” While with all the confusions and complexities, business owners are getting ready whenever the bill will roll-out again. On the other hand state governments are setting different dates for its implementation and bill creation. Channel partner from West region, Ajay Parekh, General Secretary of TAIT and owner of ShreeMaat Computers said, E-way bill definitely simplify the process of delivery between the states, however problems which are appearing are technical glitches in website and transactions process is what we are concerned about. I hope government is taking some stern measurements so that the website the process will run smoothly. TAIT had also organized an event earlier in January, to clarify the doubts of the members of the association. The session ‘Transforming The Business’, was guided by CA Kiran Garkar. He explained about E-Way bill in simple language & answered all question of members to understand nitty-gritty of E-Way bill.
Ajay Parekh, General Secretary, TAIT
Saket Kapoor, General Secretary, FAIITA