No e-way bill for consignments below Rs 50k

Andrew Cummings
March 11, 2018

The 26th GST Council meeting held on Saturday decided that the e-way bill will be implemented from 1 April for inter-state movement of goods.

With states divided on the return filing procedures, the present filing system was extended for another three months. Besides, tax exemptions to exporters have also been extended by six months to September. These two are crucial anti-evasion measures-comprehensive returns filing and e-way bill- and have been hanging fire for long due to technical deficiencies, as well as industry's complaints of high compliance burden.

The pending items outside the ambit of GST such as alcohol and real estate are likely to be taken up only after state elections, one of the officials said. There was no definitive view so they had left the final call with GST Council. The council felt that there should be a single return every month, it should be simple, not prone to evasion and (there was a need to discuss) how to simplify it further.

While a system was proposed and discussed at length during the meeting but no concrete decision could be taken on it yet.

The Council also reviewed the progress in the grant of IGST and input tax credit refunds to exporters and has directed the technology backbone Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) to expeditiously forwards the balance refund claims to Centre and the states for immediate sanction of payments.

E-Way or electronic-Way Bill for intra-state movement of goods will be introduced in a phased manner.

The Goods and Services tax Council on Saturday approved the roll out of the E-Way Bill across the country from April 1 and also extended the GSTR-3B form for another three months till June 30.

It may be recalled that in its meeting held on 6th October a year ago the Council had noted that exporters are experiencing difficulties of cash blockage on account of having to upfront pay GST / IGST on the inputs, raw materials, etc. / finished goods imported/procured for purposes of exports.

Also, domestic procurement made under Advance Authorisation, EPCG and EOU schemes are being recognised as "deemed exports" with flexibility for either the suppliers or the exporters being able to claim a refund of GST/IGST paid thereon. "The Committee would also like to caution that the Department of Revenue should ever remain alert and vigilant on the possibility of revenue leakages, evasion and collusion in the course of GST implementation", it said in its report. Furthermore, the value of exempted goods has been excluded from the value of the consignment for the goal of e-way bill generation, the council said.

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