Living up to its reputation of pioneering a tech savvy tax administration, Karnataka on Monday generated its highest ever number of e-way bills, two days before the online document becomes mandatory to move goods from one place to another.
On Monday, 1,35,299 e-way bills were generated in Karnataka (for both interstate and intrastate transportation of goods) as against a daily average of 1.2 lakh since digitized monitoring of goods movement was implemented last September.
“E-way bill compliance is picking up in the state as the last date for its mandatory implementation is nearing. It is also indicative of smooth functioning of the software on the web portal,” said M P Raviprasad, joint commissioner of commercial taxes.
E-way bill is a significant part of the new goods and services tax (GST) regime. The online procedure applies to all sellers, buyers and transporters moving designated goods worth more than Rs 50,000. Traders have to upload all transportation details on the commercial tax department’s website and obtain a unique number as proof of having uploaded them. Those transporting the goods have to compulsorily produce the number whenever stopped and asked for by a tax official.
“It’s an effective tool to monitor goods movement online, without the need of a physical checkpost. This is the reason why checkposts have vanished after GST rollout,” said D P Nagendra Kumar, chief commissioner of customs and GST and the man behind drafting of GST laws.
E-way bills will become mandatory for interstate goods movement from February 1. States have been given time till June 1 for implementation of the move for intrastate transportation.However, Karnataka, which had put in place an online system, e-SUGAM, to monitor goods movement under its Value Added Tax (VAT)regime in 2011, was the first state to implement the e-way bill system in September last year. Although considered a pilot, the system in Karnataka is applicable to both inter and intrastate goods movement.
On January 17, all states in the country implemented the move on a pilot basis and generated about 12.5 lakh e-way bills in the first week. E-way bills are being managed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
“The most heartening development is that the e-way bill portal is working well. We hope the smooth run continues and the main GSTN portal also performs better,” said B T Manohar, member, GST advisory council of the Karnataka government.