The government expects goods and servicestax (GST) collections to rise by 20-25% after the introduction of electronic way (e-way) bills, which will track the movement of consignments across trucks and help check revenue leakage.Tax officials believe some businesses are on a tax holiday since the introduction of GST. That’s because under GST, partial evasion is almost impossible. You pay either 0% or 100%. “We know of businesses that have found a way to stay out of the 100% tax net. E-way bill is one way to get them into the system. States that have moved to e-way bill for VAT had seen 20-25% increase in annual tax collections for several years. We expect same to happen with national e-way implementation,” said a senior government official.
Already, 17 states have e-way bills in some form, which includes Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and several eastern states. But there are 14, including Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, which will move to the new regime from February. Some of the states that already have e-way bills track movement of goods within as well as outside the state. While e-way bill was to kick in with the launch of GST in July, the government had deferred the rollout till the system was in place.The new nationwide e-way bill system will be ready from January 1 and companies can start generating the electronic tracking tool from January 15 and it will be compulsory from February 1 with the intra-state bills becoming mandatory from June. This will do away with the state-to-state variations in e-way bills.Currently, a trial run is underway in Karnataka and officials said that the system is working perfectly with the state generating 1.1 lakh e-way bills daily. Following a national rollout, the government expects around 40 lakh e-way bills to be generated every day, of which 15-16 lakh, or around 40%, is meant for inter-state movement.