Why are transporters protesting against the E-way bill?

Bharat Bandh: Why transporters are protesting against the E-way bill

The agitators seeking abolition of the E-way bill in its current form

Image from the nationwide strike to protest against rising fuel prices and the GST rules, in Mumbai. Credit: Reuters Photo

Transporters across the country called for a Bharat Bandh today demanding a review of the provisions of the GST regime. In the eye of the storm are the E-way bill rules and the related amendments made to the Central Goods and Services Tax Rules, 2017 late last year.

The agitators are seeking the abolition of the E-way bill in its current form.

What is the E-way bill?

The electronic way (E-way) bill system falls under the GST regime, wherein businesses and transporters have to produce an e-way bill before a GST inspector, if asked.

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The consignor or sender of goods has to fill their goods detail on the online portal in part A and the transporter has to update the vehicle number in part B. E-way bills are required for inter-state movement of goods worth over Rs 50,000. For intra-state movement, limits vary from state to state. Gold is exempted.

Before the latest amendment that came into effect on January 1 this year, the E-way bills had a validity of one day for every 100 km. For over-dimensional cargo like trucks, the validity used to be one day for every 20 km. 

Read: Bharat Bandh today: Everything you need to know

The validity of the bill is now one day for every 200 km. Now, transporters have to cover the total journey of 200 km per day from the consignor place's to the consignee's place as per pin code calculated at shortest distance.

The transporters are of the opinion that it is practically impossible to stick to that deadline citing factors like holidays, accidents, traffic congestion, among others. They also said that a penalty of 200 per cent of the tax value or 100 per cent of the invoice value under Section 129 of CGST Act, 2017 is levied on them in case of an error or expiry of the E-way bill. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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