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What is an e-way bill?

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Led by Kerala’s Minister KN Balagopal, a ministerial panel had recommended implementation of a mandatory e-way bill system on movement of gold and other precious stones between the states. The aim was to curb tax evasion.

The GST council meeting, which was held during June as the tax regime marked five years of implementation, accepted the suggestions.

So what is e-way bill

The e-way bill or electronic way bill is an electronic receipt or a document generated on the GST portal when there is movement of goods from one place to another. The e-way bill acts as a permit for intra-state and inter-state movement of goods valued more than Rs 50,000. 7.7 crore e-way bills were generated in March 2022 and 7.4 crore e-way bills were issued in April 2022, according to the latest available data.

What e-way bill tells and who should generate it?

The e-way bill includes the information about details of goods, the consignor, recipient and the transporter. It should be generated before the movement of goods by the consignor or consignee if goods are transported in their own or hired conveyance, by road, railways or air. And it is the responsibility of the transporter to generate the e-way bill.

E-way bill for multiple consignments and its validity

An e-way bill has to be prepared for each consignment of goods valued over Rs 50,000 and in case the transporter carries multiple consignments in the same vehicle, a consolidated e-way bill has to be generated. The validity of e-way bills depends on the distance to be travelled by the goods.

Why is an e-way bill needed?

The e-way bill mechanism ensures that goods being transported are tracked under the GST law and helps in checking tax evasion. If any consignment of goods is found without the e-way bill, then the tax authorities may fine the GST registered person a penalty of Rs 10,000 or tax sought to be evaded, whichever is greater.


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