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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, Gujarat was one of the first states to adopt the same on the 15th of April, 2018, along with Kerala, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh and also Karnataka which had gone live from 1st April itself.
Needless to stay, business across Gujarat are now expected to start using the e-way bill Gujarat portal. More importantly, they need to be aware about the various provisions of the e-way bill, in order to generate e-way bills in Gujarat, and transition smoothly into the e-way bill era without any hassle.
Prior to GST i.e. in the VAT era, a waybill system was in existence in Gujarat for tracking the movement of goods. For any movement of taxable goods, from or to the state of Gujarat, a permit in Form 402 or Form 403 or Form 405 was made applicable. All three forms could be generated by visiting the official website of Gujarat’s commercial tax department.
Under the VAT system, a consignor was required to electronically generate Form 402 for the movement of goods moving out of the state. This form had to be generated in triplicate – for the consignor, for the driver and for the consignee.
Similarly, for the movement of goods into the state of Gujarat, a permit in the shape of Form 403 was required to be generated in triplicate by the consignor.
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 Gujarat 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 Gujarat portal. Unregistered transporters too, can register under GST, by using their business details, post which a transporter ID will be issued.
This has translated into ease of trade for Gujarat, specifically for its textile industry, which contributes significantly to the total textile output of the country. With textiles being kept out of the purview of e-way bill, the dealers belonging to this sector, see this as a great step to continue their business in a hassle free manner. On the other hand, Gujarat is also a hub of manufacturing. In the recent GST Council meetings, some changes have been introduced pertaining to the validity of the e-way bills. The timelines have been made common for all items in transit – which has raised the logical question, that whether the time can be considered the same for general items vs. heavy machinery and large equipment which are used in manufacturing processes. This is thus an operational issue which needs to be solved for better implementation of the e-way bill across the state.
Any business can generate e-way bill in Gujarat, by visiting the official e-way bill Gujarat portal, which redirects to the GST e-way bill portal. Details, such as consignee name and address, item description, value of goods, quantity etc. are to be provided in order to generate the e-way bill, which can now be seamlessly done via a user-friendly form. In addition, one can generate e-way bill in Gujarat, as well as manage and cancel the same via SMS as well.
Thus, it is essential, that businesses are clear about how to generate e-way bills in Gujarat, in order to carry forward their business in a compliant manner.
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