E-way bill launch: Don’t fear GST-like starting trouble, says Sushil Modi

| Updated on: Jan 17, 2018
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Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Sushil Kumar Modi assured businesses on Wednesday that the e-way bill will not suffer the kind of glitches that users experienced in the initial months of GST rollout.

Addressing media persons at the fortnightly Group of Ministers (GoM) meeting, he said the government has confidence in rolling out the e-way bill across 14 States from February 1 this year. Earlier, the GoM had proposed April 1 as the rollout date.

“After the success in Karnataka, we have advanced the launch,” said Modi, adding that this is the second phase of GST rollout.

This development comes in the backdrop of apprehension expressed by businesses over vehicles getting stranded, causing hurdles in the movement of goods.

It was also seen to impact tax collections across States.

Industry watchers, however, are mostly positive on the development. “For the organised players, there would be a further reduction in delivery time and cost of long-distance transportation, along with weeding out of service providers who transport goods without paying the due taxes,” said Anjani Mandal, co-founder, Fortigo Network, a Bengaluru-based logistics start-up.

NIC helpdesk

Modi pointed out that to smoothen the movement of goods, the GoM has spoken to NIC, which will develop the software for the e-way bill. “A separate helpdesk will also be set up by NIC and they are aware of the glitches that impacted the initial rollout,” he added.

States have been given the option of rolling out the e-way bill by June 1. Leakages will be plugged and taxes are expected to go up in the coming months, according to GoM executives.

Smoother workflow

One of the initial reasons for the glitches in GST was attributed to people filing their returns in the last three days, which put enormous load on the system and caused its malfunctioning.

The GoM said that there is a change in the way businesses are now filing the returns.

“From the initial 82 per cent businesses filing taxes in the last three days, the number has come down to 52 per cent,” GoM officials said.

At times, 10 crore invoices were pumped into the system, officials said.

Published on January 17, 2018

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