Every new meeting of the GST council brings the anticipated relief. The latest 24th GST council meeting, held via video conferencing, was no different as it mainly focused on the e-way bill for inter-state movement of goods. It was decided that a nationwide e-way bill would be implemented from January 15th, 2018 onwards, on a voluntary basis till February 1st, 2018 from when it will become mandatory. The date of implementation is left up to the states, however, it must be implemented before the deadline of June 1st, 2018.
An e-way bill, known as a way bill pre-GST, is used when goods are moved from one state to another state. If the value of the goods exceeds Rs. 50,000, then an e-way bill must be generated by a registered person, using Form GST-EWB-01 and filling out the required information in Part A on the portal. For goods under Rs. 50,000 unregistered persons may also generate the e-way bill. Once the form is submitted, a unique e-way bill number (EBN) will be generated, which will be shared on the portal with the supplier, the recipient of the goods and the transporter. The e-way bill will be valid for one day for distances up to 100km and an additional day added for every extra 100km.
The decisions of the 24th GST council meeting brought relief to transporters and traders, as they were facing many problems in the movement of goods from state to state. The hardware and software requirements needed for the e-way bill will be ready by January 16th 2018 and the implementation of the e-way bill will be fully operational by June 1st, 2018 nationwide.