GoM proposes April 1 date for e-way bill rollout

Sushil Modi addresses the media regarding the implementation of e-way bills in New Delhi

Sushil Modi addresses the media regarding the implementation of e-way bills in New Delhi

The meeting will take up the Group of Ministers' (GoM) recommendation on rolling out the e-way bill on tracking the movement of goods worth over Rs 50,000 from April 1.

It is one of the recommendations of a group of state finance ministers led by Modi, The Indian Express reported.

To prevent the overload on systems caused by some states also starting e-way bills for movement of goods even within a state, the group of ministers has chose to introduce it in a phase wise manner.

Originally, the e-way bill was to be introduced from February 1 but was postponed due to a system crash.

The system had crashed when 480,000 bills were generated on February 1.

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The GoM meet, however, remained inconclusive on how to simplify the return filing process for businesses under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime.

However, there was consensus within the GoM that invoice matching should happen because this is the base of GST.

GST Council, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley, will finalise the details next month. The initial summary return GSTR-3B "will continue for sometime", he added. The council is working on three different models, two being proposed by GST Network, the IT backbone of the GST, and another one by Nandan Nilkeni, chairman, infosys. Differences emerged about credit reconciliation, whether or not provisional input tax credit should be allowed and whether or not input tax credit should be linked with tax payments under GST, Modi told reporters after the meeting.

"There are different opinions and how to merge them that needs to be discussed".

Meanwhile, the ministers failed to reach a consensus on a new and simpler framework to file GST returns at Saturday's meeting, Modi said.

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As many as 56.7 lakh returns were filed in January while 7.28 crore returns have been filed since the implementation of GST past year.

Modi said the GoM would also look into returns filing timeline of small taxpayers. The Council in October had allowed small businesses with turnover up to Rs 1.5 crore to file quarterly returns.

On the preparation of e-way bill portal, Sushil Kumar Modi said that NIC has done two rounds of load testing of the system.

The e-waybill is generated on the GST-Network - a common and shared information technology (IT) infrastructure between the Centre and States.

We anticipate that around 26 lakh to 50 lakh e-way bills will be generated each day. The new portal is generating 6.5 lakh e-way bills in a day during testing period.

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A revenue slowdown had prompted the GST Council to call a meeting on December 16, where it was decided that e-way bills would be introduced for inter-state movement of goods on February 1 and for intra-state carriage on June 1.

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