Gujarat has been one of the most business generating states in India for a while now. Many trading practices are part of the state’s system, which contribute hugely to the national economic growth. Over the years, there have been several changes made at the state-level in Gujarat’s logistics industry, especially its transportation. Recently, the e-way bill was introduced under Goods and Services Tax (GST) to improve the transportation of goods across the country. This brought a major change in the way states were earlier functioning, and thus, it was adopted by all the states across the nation very quickly. However, the pre-GST era followed a different system for transportation of goods in Gujarat.
Before E-Way Bill
Gujarat’s state government has kept rules as simple as possible so that transparency is maintained and also businesses can operate easily. Before e-way bills were introduced, Gujarat’s transportation system had its own system to keep track of goods movement.
A permit form obtained from Gujarat’s commercial tax department website had to be filled out before any intrastate or interstate transportation of goods. This was applicable under VAT system, where the supplier was required to generate three copies of the form electronically, for the transporter and receiver as well. Thus, it enabled all three entities to hold responsibility for the goods being transported, and helped track their movement.
After the e-way bill was brought in, a centralized system was created for transportation of goods, whose movements were recorded on the same portal.
About E-Way Bill
E-way bill was launched as a digitalized system which reduced time-consumption and increased cost-reduction. All accounts were linked to a portal through which one could register themselves and generate e-way bills time-to-time from any corner of the nation. The number of inter-state and intra-state check-points was reduced and linking it to the website made it easier to track the GST payments being or not being made.
Any consignment worth Rs. 50,000 or more had to have an e-way bill generated for it before the consignmentwas dispatched.The government of Gujarat made it clear that e-way bills were to be generated from the portal for intrastate and interstate movement of goods. However, this only applies to goods which are taxable under GST. Those goods which are not taxable under GST will follow the previous system of taxation.
The validity of an e-way bill varies according to the distance travelled by the consignment. If it is over dimensional cargo then for every 20 km travelled, an e-way bill will be valid for a day. If the cargo isn’t over dimensional, then the e-way bill will have one day’s validity for every 100 km. the validity of an e-way bill can only be increased either before four hours of its expiry or within four hours of its expiry.
E-Way Bill Generation
The e-way bill can be generated either through the online e-way bill portal or through a text message.
To generate e-way bill through the portal, follow these basic steps:
- Go to the e-way bill portal: https://ewaybill.nic.in/
- Select ‘Registration’ on the Homepage
- Click on ‘E-Way Registration’
- Fill in your details and ‘Submit’
- You will be provided with your User ID with which you can log in to your account.
- Once you login, on the top left you will see ‘e-Waybill’. Select ‘Generate New’ from its dropdown menu.
- You will be asked to fill a form. Select ‘Outward’ if you are the supplier and ‘Inward’ if you are the receiver of the goods. Fill the form and the applicable tax rates.
- Enter the mode of transport and the distance to be covered. You may further enter transporter’s details or the vehicle’s details transporting the consignment.
- Click on ‘Submit’ and your 12-digit e-way bill will be generated.
- You can print the e-way bill whenever you want from the same dropdown menu by clicking on ‘Print EWB’ and entering your 12-digit e-way bill number.
It is mandatory to always keep a digital or hard copy of the e-way bill with you while transporting goods.
To generate an e-way bill via text message, follow these steps:
- Go to the e-way bill portal and make a login.
- On the top left corner, select the dropdown of ‘Registration’ and click on ‘For SMS’.
- You will be redirected to a page for SMS registration where last digits of your GSTIN registered mobile number will be displayed.
- Click ‘Send OTP’ and enter the code sent to your registered mobile number.
- Click on ‘Verify OTP’
- If you have multiple phone numbers registered with the GSTIN then you will be taken to a page which will ask you to select the desired User ID. After selecting, enter your mobile number and click on ‘Submit’.
Your e-way bill will then be sent to you on your mobile number.
Rejection/Cancellation of E-Way Bill
It is also possible to reject or cancel your e-way bill using the supplier’s GSTIN. All you need is the date on which the e-way bill was generated and the e-way bill number. To reject an e-way bill:
- Make a login to your account on the e-way bill portal and select ‘Reject’
- Enter the date of e-way bill generation and ‘Submit’
- You will be taken to a page with all e-way bills generated on that date
- Check the box of the e-way bill you are willing to reject. You will be shown a message of rejection once the action is complete.
If an e-way bill isn’t accepted or rejected within 72 hours, it will automatically be deemed as accepted.
To cancel an e-way bill, only its generator may go to the portal and select ‘Cancel’ from the dropdown menu under ‘E-way Bill’ or ‘Consolidated EWB’. Just enter the e-way bill number and click ‘Go’. Provide your suitable reason for cancellation andyour e-way bill will be cancelled. An e-way bill can only be cancelled within 24 hours after its generation, and will not be legal for use anymore. An e-way bill cannot be cancelled if it has been verified by an officer in power.
The contribution of Gujarat towards economic development has been massive over the years. Introduction of e-way bills has only eased out the issues businesses were facing earlier. The textile industry is a substantial contributor in the state, and its ease of doing business has increased because of its exemption from generating e-way bills for intrastate movement of goods. The uniform validity of e-way bills has also helped the dealers in transit. Thus, e-way bill has definitely proven to be beneficial to a state like Gujarat in its economic growth.