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The inter-state e-way bill was successfully launched across India on the 1st of April, 2018. At the same time, it was decided that the intra-state e-way bill will be launched starting from 15th of April, 2018, once the systems stabilize. In order to ensure a seamless implementation, the states were divided into batches, and every week, about 4 to 5 states came on board the e-way bill system.
Looking at intra-state e-way bill, Karnataka was the first state to adapt the same from the 1st of April itself.
Needless to stay, business across Karnataka are now expected to start using the e-way bill Karnataka portal. More importantly, they need to be aware about the various provisions of e-way bill in Karnataka, in order to generate e-way bills in Karnataka, and transition smoothly into the e-way bill era without any hassle.
Prior to GST i.e. in the VAT era, a waybill system called as “e-Sugam” was in existence in Karnataka for tracking the movement of goods. Under the same, a transit document had to be generated online by a seller or a dealer for movement of goods of value above INR 20,000 both within and outside Karnataka. For doing so, a dealer had to register himself on the common portal provided by the Karnataka government. Each dealer was required to identify himself via a unique username and password to access the online system, post which e-Sugam was to be generated online. These documents could also be generated via SMS using the registered mobile number of the dealer, via a system which was known as “m-Governance mobile based Sugam”.
As per the process, a unique number was allotted to each e-Sugam that was generated, which became the passport for the transport vehicle at the check post. The e-Sugam number had to be presented by the transporter to the check-post officer i.e. the CPO. The CPO would then verify it against the actual goods under transport versus the details displayed, and record his approval. In case of any discrepancy, the officer would then record his remarks in the system, and take the necessary action, as per the law.
However, while e-Sugam existed, the system of C Form was also prevalent on the sides, for certain notified goods which were transported outside the state of Karnataka.
With the introduction of GST, all the indirect taxes were subsumed into GST, and a model was proposed for a standard e-way bill, which could be implemented across the country. However, the model of e-way bill underwent various changes and was deferred a few times, before it became a reality on the 1st of April, 2018.
However, in the meanwhile, changes were introduced as far as C Form was concerned. With the introduction of GST, the Central Sales Tax i.e. CST of 2% was subsumed under GST. However, the tax continued to be valid for certain non-GST goods, and as per the GST provisions, a rate of 2% is still applicable on them. For this purpose, the C Form is still in existence.
The following are the goods for which C Form still needs to be issued:
Also, it has to be noted, that the C Form will be needed only if the aforementioned goods are used in resale, manufacturing, processing or are used in the telecommunication network, mining, or in the generation or distribution of electricity or any other power.
Any GST registered user who wants to gain access to the e-way bill facility, needs to register themselves on a one-time basis at the e-way bill Karnataka portal. If one is a registered business or transporter, one can navigate to the e-way bill portal, click “Registration” on the home page, click “E-way Registration” and then complete the registration formalities. At the end of this process, a unique user ID will be allotted to the user for logging into the e-way bill Karnataka portal. Unregistered transporters too, can register under GST, by using their business details, post which a transporter ID will be issued.
Any business can generate e-way bill in Karnataka, by visiting the official e-way bill Karnataka portal, which redirects to the GST e-way bill portal. In addition, e-way bill for Karnataka can be generated and managed via SMS as well. E-way bill users of Karnataka can send the relevant SMS code to 97319 79899 for generating, managing and cancelling e-way bills. Given the fact that Karnataka is one of the states with a significant number of small businesses, using some or the other ERP, an API integration is also available which can help businessmen seamlessly integrate their billing software to the government portal to comply with the e-way bill rules. Thus, it is essential, that businesses are clear about how to generate e-way bills in Karnataka, in order to carry forward their business in a compliant manner.