New Delhi, December 16, 2017
The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on Saturday opined that instead of the intra-state e-way bill sanctioned by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council earlier in the day, a quick response code (QR) should be developed, as the former would complicate movement of goods.
The CAIT suggested that as an alternative to the e-way bill, a QR code should be printed on each invoice of every trader and the validity of the goods or services can be authenticated by scanning the code of an invoice. This, the CAIT believes, will protect traders from harassment, since it will be self-generated. Additionally, this method is already being used by banks for digital payment transactions.
Further, the chamber, while welcoming the decision, opined that the implementation of the national e-way bill from February 1 next year will have greater ramifications on the movement of goods and services in the country, and hence should be implemented from April 1 instead.
"Imposition of an intra-state e-way bill will be counter-productive for smooth transactions of goods and services. In local sales, many times, goods are moved for sample purposes or even return on excess quantity or on other quality issues. How will an intra-state e-way bill be generated for such frequent supplies? Some other mechanism is needed to tackle this issue. E-way bill should be consulted with traders and transporters before its implementation," said Praveen Khandelwal, secretary general of CAIT.
Earlier in the day, the GST Council in its 24th meeting held through video conference decided that an inter-state e-way bill will be made compulsory from February 1, 2018.
The system is expected to be ready by January 16, and a uniform system of e-way bill for inter-state as well as intra-state movement will be implemented across the country by June 1, 2018.
During the meeting, which was chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, it was discussed that till the time a national e-way bill is ready, the states are authorised to continue their own separate e-way bill systems.
However, it was represented by the trade and transporters that this is causing undue hardship in the inter-state movement of goods and therefore, bringing in an early all-India system of e-way bill has become a necessity.
The GST Council also reviewed the progress of readiness of hardware and software required for the introduction of nationwide e-way bill system. (ANI)