E-way Bill Current Affairs - 2020

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Govt launches Pilot Project for using Fastags for Parking at Hyderabad Airport

To ensure the benefits of FASTag beyond tolling, the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has launched a pilot project for using FASTags for parking purposes at Hyderabad Airport. Conceptualised as FASTag 2.0, the tag would cover parking payments, fuel payments, etc. After the success of project in Hyderabad, it will be launched at Delhi airport.

Key Highlights

Pilot project has been launched in two phases. In Phase I, a controlled pilot testing is being undertaken, wherein only ICICI tags would be used, while, the Phase II of pilot would cover all other Issuer Bank tags. Other banks such as SBI, HDFC, IDFC and Axis are also in talks with airports in Mumbai, Bangalore & few of the malls to launch FASTag 2.0.

The FASTag 2.0 has many exciting use cases such as Fuel Payments, Enforcement (E-challan) payments, Access Management at offices & residence. The GST council has also mandated FASTag for all commercial vehicles which would be generating an E-way bill from 1 April, 2020. This integration will be a big boost to GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network) as it would help in identifying leakages with respect to non-issuance/ miss reporting of E-way bill.

About National Electronic Toll Collection (FASTag) programme

It is the flagship initiative of Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. It has been implemented on pan India basis across National Highway toll plazas. The programme has given a major fillip to digital India initiative by converting cash toll payments to electronic and has thus enhanced transparency in entire tolling ecosystem.

Government has recently mandated to declare all lanes of fee plazas on National Highways as ‘FASTag lanes’. This has seen a much wider adoption of FASTags both in terms of new tag sales as well as higher transactions at the toll plazas. The mandate would further increase the penetration of National Electronic Toll Collection (NETC) and the higher NETC penetration will further ensure a seamless movement of traffic which would in turn bring down the overall Logistic cost in country.

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Intra-state e-way bill rolled out in 5 states

The E-Way Bill system for Intra-State movement of goods was rolled out in five more states‑Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh. The E-Way Bill system for all inter-State movement of goods valued over Rs 50,000 was rolled-out from 1st April 2018. At that time, Karnataka was only state which had rolled out e-way bill system for intra-state movement of goods. The roll-out of e-Way Bill system in these States will facilitate trade and industry so far as the transport of goods is concerned. This will also help in paving way for nation-wide single e-Way Bill system

Background

The e-way bill provision of the goods and services tax (GST) was first introduced on February 2018. It is touted as an anti-evasion measure and will help boost tax collections by clamping down on trade that currently happens on cash basis. However, its implementation was put on hold after system developed technical glitches in generating permits. With several states also starting to generate intra-state e-way bills on portal, the system developed snag. Since then, the platform was made more robust so that it can handle load of as many as 75 lakh inter-state e-way bills daily without any glitch.

E-way bill

E-way bill is an electric document generated on the GST Portal, which is a common and shared information technology (IT) infrastructure between the Centre and States; and acts as evidence for movement of goods. A company or an entity can upload relevant information prior to movement of a goods consignment from one state to another. Subsequently, the E-way bill for that consignment is generated via the GST portal. It may be noted that such a mechanism helps reduce the burden of tax collection under the GST regime and it is only applicable to transport of goods amounting to more than Rs 50,000 in value.

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