E-Way Bill Rollout Deferred

The government on Thursday postponed implementation of the e-way bill requirement for movement of consignments in the GST regime after technological glitches led to disruption in trade.The e-way bill, an electronic documentation tracking the movement of goods, was mandatory for all inter-state movement of goods from 1 February.

Since the implementation of GST there has been continual trend of extension of due dates for filing of tax returns for direct as well as indirect taxes. The reason behind tsuch extensions being technical glitches, server overloads, sheer haste is implementation by the government or sometimes even at the request of the professionals and taxpayers.

The recent addition to the GST regime was supposed to be the E-Way bill. However, more than 16 states also started e-way bills for movement of goods within the state that led to a slowdown in issuance of e-way bills causing delays in truck movement. The GST e-way bill was made mandatory for all movement of goods within a state from 1 June, although these 16 states decided to implement it from 1 February.

Businesses had two weeks trial time before the system was due for rollout in February, but policymakers chose to defer implementation to avert technical glitches causing disruption in supply chain at a time GST revenue has started stabilising. Once implemented, e-way bill is needed for all movement of goods—within or outside a state—valued at more than Rs50,000.

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