One of the primary objectives of GST was to create a single common market for goods and services across the Nation. This objective was achieved by the abolition of Check Posts effective July 1, 2017.
Introduction of E-way Bill
E-way Bill system was implemented in a phased manner across India. The person who dispatches the goods is expected to generate an e-way Bill based on an underlying document (which could be a tax invoice or a delivery challan) by providing details of the material being dispatched on the e-way bill portal.
Purpose of e-way bills
- Supervision of Movement of Goods to check tax evasion
- Not to hamper the movement of goods by creating check posts
- Replacing multiple permits applicable under VAT era with one permit to allow movement of goods across India
To further ease the procedures governing the distribution of goods across India, Government intends to install RFID Tag Readers which will read the details of goods which are being transported by the vehicle tagged with the RFID thereby reducing (if not completely eliminating) the manual intervention for verification of goods.
Modus Operandi of RFID
Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) uses radio waves to detect/identify objects.
A transporter would be required to obtain an RFID Tag embedded at a pre-specified location (typically on the windscreen) on the vehicle. The details of the e-way bills generated for goods being carried by the vehicle would be fed into this device. When the vehicle passes the RFID Tag reader on the highway, the reader would detect the details fed into the device and upload the same on the Government Portal. This data can be used by the Revenue Authorities in the future to validate the supplies made by the suppliers.
This system may not completely eliminate the process of manual verification of goods by revenue authorities but can restrict the manual verification to those cases which involve transport of sensitive goods, where there is a suspicion that the movement of goods is being done in a fraudulent manner or is being executed with the intention to defraud the revenue.
Uttar Pradesh became the first State to issue Notification making it mandatory for the transporters to install RFID tags on their vehicles effective from November 1, 2018. The State of Maharashtra is also said to be in advanced stages of testing the system and can introduce this system very soon.
Frequently Asked Questions on RFID
- How to get the RFID Tagging?
RFID tag is embedded on the windscreens of the vehicles fo transporters. RFID can be installed by visiting the distribution centres assigned for each jurisdiction across India. Currently, Uttar Pradesh is the only state to have notified the use of RFID tag and has released the list of disctribution centres
- Consequences for not getting RFID Tagging?
CGST Rules require the goods to be moved along with an E-way Bill. The E-way Bill is required to be generated from the GST Portal. However, based on Notification from the GST Commissioner the e-way bill number needs to be furnished in electronic form or mapped to an RFID embedded on to the conveyance. Hence, the E-way Bill mapped to the RFID will be considered as a document in lieu of physical e-way bill. If an e-way bill is not mapped to an RFID, the penalty applicable to non-generation of the e-way bill will apply.
- How will the same be shown in the EWB?
The tagging will be done to the vehicle and not the e-way bill. The RFID tagging of vehicle will not stop the inspectors from checking the e-way bill and goods in the vehicle considered to be sensitive to tax evasion.