E-way bill to be implemented from April 1, no decision on GST return simplification

Business Today By Dipak Mondal February 25, 2018 | 11:12 IST

Sushil Kumar Modi, convener of GoM and Bihar finance minister, speaks to media about implementation of e-way bill. Photo: PTI

The group of minister (GoM) formed to oversee the implementation of the Good and Services Tax (GST) has recommended implementation of e-way bill for inter-state movement of goods from April 1 this year. Final decision on the date would be taken by GST Council which is meeting on 10 March.

Sushil Kumar Modi, finance minister of Bihar and convenor of the GoM, said that based on the initial experience of the system, the government can decide to allow the implementation of e-way bill on intra-state movement of goods in phased manner within two-three weeks. "The intra-state e-way bill would not be implemented in one go. In a phased manner, 4-5 states every week would be allowed to implement intra-state e-way bill," said Modi.

However, he did not comment on the manner in which these states would be selected for implementation of intra-state e-way bill.

Earlier, 15 states had implemented intra-state e-way bill along with mandatory inter-state e-way bill that was brought in force from February 1, before the deadline was deferred. Technical glitches in the e-way bill portal developed and maintained by NIC was cited the reason for the deferment.

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

The GoM expects 25-50 lakh e-way bills to be generated every day, and that may even go up to 75 lakh per day. "The e-way bill system has been tested for similar kind of load," informed the Bihar finance minister.

Return filing

However, the GoM could not decide on the new model to be adopted for filing of returns. Sushil Modi said that there are different views on a number of issues including allowing provisional credit and linking of credit with tax payment.

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

Though there is consensus on monthly return filing, discussion on quarterly return for small taxpayers remain inconclusive.

The GST Council, the body that takes all the GST related decisions, has decided to dump the earlier system of three monthly GST returns and instead decided to overhaul the whole system. 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.

Nilkeni was also present in the meeting of GoM held today at the office of UIDAI in the national capital.

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