SPOT­LIGHT E-way Bill: Mak­ing Way for Easy Tran­sit

DQ Channels - - Channel pulse - ANUSHRUTI SINGH anushrutis@cy­ber­me­

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

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