E-Way Bill Digital Copy Sufficient for Transportation under GST
Road Transportation of goods has recently been made much less hectic and a lot less time-consuming since the introduction of GST. E-Way Bills replaced the usual way bills which were being used for transportation of consignments between checkpoints. These electronic bills were launched with the motive of making things easier for the transporters and reducing the hassle caused by the repeated paperwork at checkpoints.
About E-Way Bill
The e-way bill system demands that any consignment worth Rs 50,000 or more must be made after generating an e-way bill showing the details of its consigner, transporter, destination, consignment, and consignee. This bill is what needs to be shown at the required checkpoints, without having to wait in queues like it used to be earlier. The whole process has been made digital for the benefit of the users, so that cost and time can be reduced to its maximum.
Benefits of E-Way Bill
The benefits of e-way bills that followed were innumerable. And it has been constantly evolving ever since. A few advantages that came to sight were:
- Reduction of all sorts of Documentation required earlier
- Reduced time-consumption due to removal of several inter-state check-points
- Reduced Logistics Costs
- Cost Reduction on Warehouses
- Clearance process was made easier
- Elimination of corruption
- A forward integration in the logistics industry
Recent Development in E-Way Bill Compliances
The replacement of way bills with e-way bills demanded a replacement of a few compliances too. The changes, however, are being made constantly and in the favor of citizens. Recently, there has been a development that allows transporters to only carry a digital copy of their e-way bill, which will be regarded as sufficient. The Prayagraj High Court ruled out that carrying a hard copy of the e-way bill is not necessary under the current GST Compliance. GST was formed as a digital initiative, and hence, it permits transportation with a digital copy too.
This detail was pointed out in the High Court this year when a transporter was stopped by GST authorities for not carrying a hard-copy of the e-way bill. In his defense, the transporter made a point that the website was down at the time of dispatch of the consignment, but an e-way bill was generated the very next day, much before being seized by the authorities. All arrows pointed at the technical error as everyone involved was registered on the portal with a GSTIN for each. This led to the judgment that the consignment seizure was completely invalid and that only carrying a digital copy of e-way bill is permitted under the GST law.
There also have been other developments that are being made to the e-way bill system. One such is the RFID process, which will completely eliminate stopping by at checkpoints for transporters of consignments. Thus, such developments bring about a positive change in the development of the economy as a whole. E-way bills brought in a reduction in time consumption of over five to seven hours and saved numerous of rupees in the cost-incurring process. With the continuous enhancements being made, it looks like a good decision after all.