Allowed | Transportation of goods – no distinction of essential/non-essential items. (Image: Reuters)
There is some good news for the Rs 8.5 lakh crore transport industry - the Electronic-way (E-way) bill operations could see further simplification.
The E-way bill is a document that is required for movement of goods that are valued above Rs 50,000, from one place to another under the goods and services tax (GST) regime. The process has been facing practical difficulties including time taken for bill verification during transit and the number of times it is verified.
In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Sachin Menon, National Head of Indirect Tax at KPMG said that there could be a process wherein the bill is checked just once during transit. He added that if the time taken for verification of the bill exceeds 30 minutes, then the process could include a filing a complaint to raise the issue.
Menon said that while the overall implementation of the E-way bill system has been smooth, there has been some confusion about the exceptional situations and how those will be addressed.
"There are queries on if it is verified once, will it be verified again in the voyage again. Also, is it just document verification or is there a need for physical verification," he added.
Menon explained that while stopping of the trucks for verification for up to 30 minutes is acceptable, if it takes any longer then it could be reported on the GST grievance redressal portal.
"The practical implementation is the concern so that the system is not misused. We are expecting the committees to look into this matter soon," he added.
On May 4, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is likely to chair a meeting of the GST Council, which will look at simplification of the tax return filing process.
GST collections up
As far as collections under GST are concerned, while there were fluctuations post the July 1 implementation of the tax regime, it has now stabilised.
Menon added that collections are going up. "We have seen about Rs 96,000 crore as of end of March 2018. This increase could be partly due to the input credit carry forward, close of financial year and also due to the anticipation of the e-way bill coming in."
Under GST, anti-profiteering has been an area of concern as well. While authorities do not want companies to pocket the profits arising from a reduction in taxes, implementation challenges have remained.
"It has been sought that increased input credit and reduced GST has to be passed on to the end customers. However, at present, a complainant may not be able to cannot find out whether input credit has passed on," Menon said.
Currently, there are no guidelines on anti-profiteering norms under GST. However, adjudication has already started.
Honda dealer case
In March, the the National Anti-Profiteering Authority (NAA) had dismissed a complaint against a Bareilly-based Honda car dealer related to tax reduction benefits not being passed on.
"Nearly 73 complaints have been filed under the anti-profiteering rules, but only one has been adjudicated. This process takes time and 8-10 months for an outcome to be reached," said Menon.