GST Council approves rollout of e-way bill from April

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The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council announced on Saturday that the inter-state e-way Bill will be rolled-out in a phased manner starting April 1, 2018.

E-way bills will be made applicable to movement of goods within the state in phases before 1 June, clubbing several states together. The Council could not decide on a simplified GST return form and entrusted the ministerial panel under Sushil Modi to chalk out a single page form which is simpler and evasion proof.

In another announcement, the finance minister said that tax exemption for exporters has been extended by six months.

However, every state has to come on board for the intra-state implementation latest by June 1.

While the Council discussed two alternate models for simplification of filing returns, no decision was taken regarding the same. GST was rolled out from July 1, 2017, and based on the feedback received from stakeholders the GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, has made a host of changes in GST norms and procedures.

E-way bill will be applicable from April 1 for inter-state transactions. "So no decision was taken today", he told reporters after the council's meeting.

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The GST Council - the key indirect tax policy decision making body comprising members from the Centre and states - also relaxed certain rules related to e-Way Bill, which will essentially reduce the load on the portal. "The view was that it should be further simplified", he said.

With E-way bill roll out, from April 1, transporters of goods worth over Rs 50,000 will have to generate an e-way bill.

Additionally, all pending claims of refunds of exporters are expected to be cleared by March 31.

Also, the requirement of large customers of small businesses having to pay taxes on behalf of their suppliers under a system called reverse charge has been deferred till 30 June.

Besides, the GST implementation committee has been tasked with the work of redressing grievances caused to taxpayers arising out of IT glitches. Another important matter likely to be reviewed is the implementation of the new e-way bill for inter and intra-state movement of goods. "This will enable them to plan their imports and subsequent activities without any fear on losing export incentives", MS Mani, Senior Director at Deloitte India said.

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