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West Bengal set to roll out intra-State e-way bill on June 3

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on May 28, 2018 Published on May 28, 2018

Adesh Kumar, Additional Commissioner and PRO, Commercial Taxes   -  Debasish Bhaduri

West Bengal is likely to witness a 30-40 per cent rise in revenue collection once the e-way bill for intra-State movement of goods is implemented, a senior official has said.

The State’s revenue collection increased by nearly 15 per cent after the implementation of e-way bill for inter-State movement of goods in April. The State is likely to roll out the implementation of e-way bill for intra-State movement of goods on June 3.

Technical glitches

West Bengal has seen close to 64,000 entities register for generation of e-way bills for inter-State transport of goods. The State has generated nearly 12 lakh e-way bills for goods moving out of the State till date, said Adesh Kumar, Additional Commissioner and PRO, Commercial Taxes.

“There were initially a few technical hurdles and that is why we deferred the rollout of e-way bill for intra-State transport of goods. We will roll it out on June 3,” Kumar told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a seminar on GST, organised by the Merchants’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Monday.

The State had earlier raised issues with the GST Council relating to difficulties in implementation of e-way bill.

Fewer complaints

Some of the issues included merger of multiple invoices into a single e-way bill, treatment of intra-State movement of goods through designated corridors and so on. According to Kumar, the number of complaints received from trade bodies regarding entry of goods ‘unrecorded’ has come down since the rollout of e-way bill in April and is further likely to decrease after its rollout for intra-State transport.

“Trade was suffering as goods were coming in unrecorded, which was impacting the prices of local products. Now with e-way bills that has been addressed to a great extent,” he said.

According to Arun Goyal, Special Secretary, GST Council, as many as 20 States have already implemented the e-way bill system. Goyal was also present at the seminar and was addressing the queries of various stakeholders.

The State has witnessed nearly 130 per cent growth in the number of entities registered under GST to close to 6.5 lakh, as against only 2.7 lakh under the VAT regime.

This also translated into better revenues. West Bengal registered a revenue surplus in State GST collections for March 2018. This is even while the country registered a SGST revenue deficit of 17.9 per cent for the period.

While revenue deficit across the country has come down from over 28 per cent in July 2017 to 17.9 per cent in March, West Bengal, which had a 33.4 per cent revenue deficit in August 2017; has now recorded a surplus.

Process simplification

According to Goyal, a number of amendments to the GST law, aimed to iron out bottlenecks, are likely to be moved in the monsoon session of Parliament.

The GST Council has also unveiled a new simplified return that would require a taxpayer to file only one return every month.

“The issue of simplification of return filing process was deliberated at length at the 27th GST Council meeting and we have given the GST Network around six months time to develop the requisite system,” Goyal said.

Published on May 28, 2018
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