E-way bill – A jerky ride in implementation!

E-way bill – A jerky ride in implementation!

In our previous article, we had talked about whether India is ready for implementing E-way bill in logistics industry or not.  And with October round the corner, we feel that we should at least try and understand how E-way bill could be implemented and progress for the launch of E-way bill. Though it was to be implemented from July 1, 2017; but due to lack of technological infrastructure it could not be implemented, and thus, the states were permitted to continue with existing systems.

We are well aware of the fact that the government has tentatively proposed to launch E-way bill system in logistics industry from October, but the main question arises is that; Is the system ready? How will it be implemented? And, who is playing what role in the whole chain? Well to answer this, we need to understand that how it is going to be implemented. So, first of all for any goods whose worth is Rs. 50000 and above, it is mandatory to get an e-way bill generated by the person-in-charge of the conveyance irrespective of the fact that he is a transporter/supplier/manufacturer or any other person. That E-way bill or E-way bill number (EBN) is required to be carried by that person along with the invoice of the goods either physically or through embedded RFID system in conveyance. Secondly, this conveyance could be verified and inspected by the authorized officers, if required under any circumstances. The officers has the power to detain the conveyance and is bound to file a report of such detainment within 72 hours, and the transporters can also report any such incidents within 30 minutes of detainment through the online portal.

Transporters are of the view that a conveyance may start from one state and will reach another state either by same mode of transportation or some other mode of transportation with different people involved at different stages, then obtaining a bill for every change taking place during the whole journey may make the movement of goods slow, documentation would be increased and they also fear that this may have a bad impact on their business.

Though, E-way bill system has been already well implemented in states like Kerala, West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa on state level, but its implementation across nation may take some more time. Earlier GST council had decided to develop the system and its forms on its own, but in July 2017, NIC was roped in to develop the technological system for E-way bill.  The condition is still not clear as there is confusion due the state borders. So, will it be implemented in October or not, is still not sure, as it is dependent on the fact that is the IT tools and technology required for it has been developed and tested to be implemented in India, where the logistics industry is highly unorganized.

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