The government rolled out the e-way bill system on 1 April 2018 to track movement of goods. While the system was initially only applicable for inter-state movement of goods, states have adopted and implemented the new system in a phased manner and mandated generation of e-way bills for intra-state movement of goods as well. The number of e-way bills created on the new platform has been steadily rising and has crossed the 10 crore mark in less than three months, with around 2.80 crore e-way bills being generated in April 2018 alone.
This number increased substantially in May 2018 with more than 3.7 crore e-way bills being generated during the month. On an average, more than 12 lakh e-way bills are being generated every day. The government believes that this new system will help to reduce tax evasion. Tax officials are acknowledging that the introduction of e-way bills is the prime factor for the improvement witnessed in tax collections for June 2018. The tax collection for the month amounted to more than INR 95,600 crore, compared to an average monthly collection of INR 89,885 crore for the previous financial year.
In view of the gigantic scale of operations, it is too early to comment on the success or failure of the new system. However, no major execution-related issues have been reported by businesses so far and the IT backbone that generates e-way bills has held up without any major glitches since April 2018.
This publication aims to summarise the key requirements of the e-way bill system and what needs to be done by businesses to implement it successfully.