The GST e-way bill system portal had crashed on its launch day that is 1st February.
New GST e-way bill system, which promises to enable faster movement of goods through an intuitive portal-driven payment system, may see the light of the day from 7th March 2018, after technical issues aborted its mandatory full-fledged launch on 1st February.
Although the National Information Information Science Centre (NIC), the government’s nodal IT procurement arm, wants to implement a fool-proof e-way bill system from April 1, the finance ministry is pushing for an earlier rollout in its effort to prevent revenue leakages, said by a senior government official.
“We want the e-way bill to be implemented from March 7, but it depends on the preparedness of the implementing agency (NIC). NIC is more comfortable if the rollout happens in April,” the official said.
The GST e-way bill system portal had crashed on its launch day that is 1st February – The movement of cross-crossing trucks on highways was severely affected due to triggering the erosion of criticism from traders and transporters.
To push the compulsory generation of inter-state e-way bills, the disruption forced the GST Council, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley-headed body, along with the officials of the states and the centers.
Although the system for both inter and intra-state bill generation was to be ready on 16th January, the Council had decided that the state can choose their own timing for implementing the document for the intra-state movement of goods on a date before 1 June 2018.
On 1st Feb, the portal collapsed because it was not ready to handle the large volumes of inter as well as intra-state bills that were being generated at the time.
“The portal was capable of generating only 500 bills per minute, which was way too small a capacity as compared with the traffic on the day of launch. NIC has been asked to increase its capacity to at least a few thousands so that the system doesn’t collapse again,” the official said.
The Center has now asked the states to roll-out the intra-state bill in a staggered manner so that it does not put heavy pressure on the portal as the government’s priority is smooth and steady implementation.
Apart from this, the prime rule of getting an e-way bill while ferrying goods worth more than 50,000 rupees within or outside a state, through prior online registration of the consignment may be tweaked, for the time being, the official said.
In order to generate an e-way bill, the supplier and transporter will have to upload details on the GST Network portal, after which a unique e-way bill number (EBN) will be made available to the supplier, the recipient and the transporter on the common portal.
“The idea is to declutter the portal will less number of bills and reduce the load as much as possible,” the official added.
For example, a single transporter may have five different consignments worth more than Rs 50,0000. Yet, that transporter had to generate five separate bills despite the value of a single consignment, which was less than half a million rupees.
The responsibility for developing a GST e-way bill system was given to NIC in September and it was decided by the GST Council on 6th October that the e-way bill should be made compulsory from 1st April 2018.
However, the Council met on December 16 through a video conference and decided to roll out the of all-India electronic-way bill compulsory from February 1 – 2 months ahead of the earlier plan to mainly plug revenue leakages.