The e-way bill under the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a mechanism to avert tax evasion on inter-State movement of goods, is likely to be re-notified in two to three months once the technical glitches are addressed.
Further, to ensure that IT problems do not hold up the system in future, the government is looking at an alternative option that can be used by businesses if they are unable to generate the e-way bill, which is an online ticket for movement of goods over ?50,000 for distances over 10 km.
“A final date for making the e-way bill mandatory will be notified once the problems are sorted out and further tests are carried out,” said an official.
“The GST Council will also review the progress,” the official added.
The Finance Ministry, the GST Network and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) are understood to be discussing various options. The NIC is also working to address the technical glitches on the e-way bill portal.
“There is a thinking that there should also be an alternative option so that if there are problems in generating the e-way bill, businesses are not impacted and can easily use another option,” said an official. Sources said that this time. the government wants to wait until it is fully satisfied with the IT system before announcing the date. It is learnt that the Finance Ministry and the GST Network are closely monitoring the developments. The GST Council had decided to implement that the e-way bill on a trial basis from January 16 and on a mandatory basis from February 1.
However, due to technical problems, the trial phase was extended indefinitely. It continues to be one of the deferred provisions of the GST regime, which was launched on July 1, 2017. In the interim, the Centre and the States are also encouraging businesses to familiarise themselves with the e-way bill system. Officials are also meeting trade and industry representatives to address their concerns. GSTN officials met with industry chamber FICCI for an interactive session on Tuesday on the e-way bill.