The government on Monday said the reintroduction of the e-way bill system for the goods and services tax (GST) has been smooth with no technical glitches. On the second day after the roll-out of the mechanism to track inter-state cargo movements, 2.89 lakh bills were generated till the afternoon. On Sunday, 2.59 lakh such bills were generated.
The government said that nearly 11.2 lakh taxpayers have registered on the portal so far. Additionally, over 20,000 transporters have also signed up. The portal for e-way bill has been designed by National Informatics Centre (NIC) and it is being run by GST Network – the IT backbone for GST. The system currently generates about 60,000 bills every hour on inter-state movements.
Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said the system would be implemented, as announced earlier, for intra-state movement of goods as well. The names of first batch of states to implement intra-state e-way bill would be announced after a week, he said. The idea is to complete the roll-out by the end of the month.
The e-way bill system requires taxpayers to generate bills on the designated portal if goods worth above Rs 50,000 are moved beyond 10 kilometres. However, in the first week, generation of bills is mandatory only for inter-state movements. The mechanism is one of the anti-evasion provisions of GST, designed to plug revenue leakages in the business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions. Government officials estimate that successful implementation of the system could bring an additional Rs 10,000 crore to GST collections.
The government had earlier advanced the e-way bill implementation for both intra- and inter-state movement to February 1, but due to underestimation of traffic, the system crashed on the first day. This time the government has staggered its implementation to ensure the system is monitored as the load increases with more states coming into the fold every week. The portal has also been strengthened to enhance bills generation capacity to 75 lakh per day. A GSTN official said that it was difficult to estimate the ideal number of registrants on the e-way bill portal and added that of the over one crore taxpayers registered on GSTN portal, many service providers won’t require e-way bill registration. Further, he said that since e-way bill can be generated by suppliers, recipient or transporters, several small taxpayers could carry out businesses without registering.
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