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GST e-way takes off with 2 lakh bills daily

The trial run of electronic-way-bill (e-way-bill) on the goods and services tax network (GSTN) platform is seeing around two lakh bills being issued per day against its load capacity of 45-50 lakh per day, Prakash Kumar, CEO of GSTN, told DNA Money.
The GST Council has given its nod for making e-way-bill mandatory for inter-state movement of goods above Rs 50,000 across all states and Union Territories (UTs) from February 1. This is being done to plug the leakage of GST revenues due to evasion and to improve the collection of the new unified indirect tax, which has shown a declining trend since its launch in July last year.
“It (e-way-bill platform) has been opened up for all states and union territories. Taxpayers and transporters from all states are registering, enrolling and generating the e-way-bills on a trial basis. The trial is up to the end of this month. During this period, people can generate and see how it works, etc,” said Kumar.
The information technology (IT) infrastructure for e-way-bills has been in place since last year. The pilot project of e-way-bill was first rolled out on September 12 last year in Karnataka. Based on the feedback from users, it was tweaked and launched in Rajasthan in December and then in Uttarakhand in the same month. Kerala came on board in the first week of this month.
The generation of e-way-bills has been made simple and would not require visit to the tax office. He said it can be done online on the GSTN portal or through a mobile app.
Kumar said more states were trying out the platform before e-way-bills become compulsory from next month. After the GST Council meeting last week, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that 15 states will introduce intra-state e-way-bill along with interstate e-way-bill from February 1.
On what were the options being considered for easing the returns filing for GST, he said it was still “work in progress”.
“That is a work in progress and since I was part of that committee I can’t speak on that. We need to work on it again and submit it to the Council,” Jaitley said.
The IT system for filing GST returns has come under severe criticism from its users because of rampant technical glitches and its complicated process. The Council has formed a committee to advise it on how to simplify the whole process.
Even as the Council is working on ironing out wrinkles in GST structure and returns filing processes, GST collections have dipped since its launch to Rs 80808 crore from Rs 95,000 crore in November last year.
M S Mani, partner, Deloitte India, said the Council should adopt a “balanced” method to avert GST evasion.