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GST Council meet: E-way bill set for early rollout from February 1

The E-way bill under the goods and services tax (GST) will be rolled out from January 16.

The decision was taken by the GST Council chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday through video conferencing.

While traders can start using the E-way bill on a voluntary basis from January 16, it will be made compulsory from February 1.

“The rules for implementation of nationwide e-way Bill system for inter-State movement of goods on a compulsory basis will be notified with effect from 1st February, 2018. This will bring uniformity across the States for seamless inter-State movement of goods, said the Finance Ministry in a statement after the meeting.

Under GST, movement of goods costing over ₹50,000 beyond 10 km requires prior registration and generation of an e-way bill through the GST Network to track inter- and intra-State movement.

While GST was rolled out on July 1 this year, the GST Council had decided to defer e-way bill implementation to March 31 next year, due to lack of technological preparations.

The plan has now been advanced due to concerns over tax evasion.

“It is now important to ensure that all States have common e-Way bills and suggestions made by industry for simplification are taken into consideration. If implementation of this system is not done properly, it could lead to significant supply chain bottlenecks and somewhat dilute the objective of ‘one nation one tax’,” said Pratik Jain, Leader, Indirect Tax, PwC India.

Archit Gupta founder and CEO ClearTax said: “This will help transporters and sellers understand the requirements and prepare in advance. This period will also allow period of testing of the system.”

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