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Editorial:Is There Any Relief After E Way Bill Implementation to Trade?

Port Wings, 11 April 2018:

All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) says that even though there were promises made prior to the implementation of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the E Way Bill norm that things would change, transporters are yet to see an end to inspector raj.

Talking to media, Naveen Kumar Gupta, Secretary General of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said that ‘ease’ for transporters still seems a far-fetched reality. Gupta opined that with the E Way bill norm rolled out the transporters expected an end to harassment by police and tax officers but it is happening otherwise.

According to Gupta, the inspectors can stop the shipment at any time just for inspection, making it difficult for the shipments to move, in a way reinstating inspector raj.

When the e way bill is to bring in transparency and in case any discrepancy is found that tax officer should catch hold of consignee/consigner whoever is responsible, he lamented.

“There is clear details of consignee/consigner on the bill, in case they are cheating on tax, the government should arrest them and not the transporter, we should simply be asked to off-load, and that’s it”, he said.

With regard to the check posts being reduced under the new mechanism, he said significant work has been done, but there is a need to address other larger concerns of transporters in order to facilitate easy and smooth movement of goods in the country.

However, another media report says the e-way bill system seems to be working well for many exporters, with the Centre giving exemption to all exports moving from an inland container depot (ICD) to a customs port and also to e-sealed consignments.

The report said that exporters had some concerns on the e-way bill but most have been put to rest with the Centre’s decision to extend the exemption given to imports moving from gateway ports to ICDs to exports as well.

The e-way bill was introduced from April 1 under the GST framework to track inter-State movement of goods worth Rs 50,000 or more. The network will subsequently be expanded to track intra-State movement of goods, too.

E Way Bill is an electronically generated document required to be generated for the movement of goods of value more than Rs 50,000 between states.

According to Ajay Sahai, Director General, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), a number of exporters have managed not to come within the purview of e-bills as their consignments are e-sealed. Overall, exporters are not facing any problems after the introduction of the e-way bill because of all the exemptions.

The Centre had initially decided to give an e-way bill exemption to imports wherein the goods are moved from ports, airports, air cargo complexes and land customs stations to an ICD or a container freight station.

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