KOCHI: With just two more days to go for the nationwide rollout of e-way bill system, the state government is hopeful of revenue growth as the new system is expected to help track the movement of goods across the borders.
The GST Council headed by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, which met on March 10, had approved the rollout of the inter-state electronic-way bill from April 1. However, the system for intra-state movement of goods will be introduced only in a phased manner.
While expressing hope the GST e-way bill system will jack up the state’s revenue, Finance Minister T M Thomas Isaac was doubtful about the plans made by the Union Government for its implementation. Though the government had planned the GST e-way bill rollout on February 1, it was deferred following a technical glitch. The portal crashed as it didn’t have the required bandwidth to handle large volumes of e-way bills generated across the country.
“If it is implemented effectively, it will be beneficial to the state. We have lost huge revenue due to the delay in implementing the e-way bill system. They are not sure about the server capacity. If it crashes again, they may extend the deadline for implementation,” he told Express.
According to public finance expert and Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation faculty Jose Sebastian, the GST e-way bill will streamline the tax collection. “All trucks transporting goods across the state border will have to produce e-way bill as proof of tax payment. The state’s tax revenue will increase remarkably even if the transporters declare 50 per cent of the goods brought to the state. Above all, the state can conduct random check and penalise the transporters trying to evade tax.
The positive development is the state can ensure payment of tax without harassing the traders,” he said.
Jose Sebastian said the state is entitled to compensation in case it has suffered any loss in revenue due to GST implementation. The revenue growth rate for any state over the course of the next five years will be considered at 14 per cent per year. If the revenue growth is less than 14 per cent, the state can claim compensation.
Source- Indian Express.