Steel traders demand to withdraw Draft Rules of e-Way Bill

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 25 Apr 2017 09:38:38

Business Bureau,

Steel and Hardware Chamber of Vidarbha has submitted a memorandum to the GST Council to withdraw Draft Rules of e-Way Bill as they are against the interest of trade and industry.

The Chamber said traders and MSME sector had accepted the deformed version of GST with a very heavy heart, anticipating that ‘Ache Din’ will come in due course of time and India will adopt the international best practices devised over the time by the nations which have implemented GST since decades.

The Chamber protest and demanded withdrawal of Draft Rules for the following reasons.

1. Draft Rules demonstrate that the framers of rules are either not aware about the ground realities, the working of different markets and the pathetic condition of required infrastructure, i.e. internet speed and its seamless connectivity, to implement the rules on pan India basis or have turned a blind eye to these aspects.

2. Draft Rules do not exempt a composite supplier from the tedious compliance proposed therein.

3. Draft Rules nowhere disclose the nature/kind of information which is required to be furnished in Part - A & B of GSTN INS-1 form. Further opportunity should be given for submission of comments once details are made available in public domain.

4. Proviso to sub-rule 1 and 5 of the Draft Rules expects an unregistered person to login to the common portal and furnish details.

5. Draft Rules results in duplication of compliance i.e GST INV-1, GSTR-1 and now GSTN INS-1.

6. Draft Rules are either silent on, or do not address, the following aspects -

a. Effect of rejection of e-Way Bill under Rule 1(8) of the Draft Rules by the recipient of goods as shown by the supplier.

b. Effect of expiry of validity of e-Way Bill generated by the consignor/consignee while goods are in transit, but the consolidated e-Way Bill generated by the transporter is valid.

c. Process to be adopted by transporter in the event of breakdown of his vehicle carrying 100 metric tonne (MT), under single tax invoice with single e-Way Bill, and if the consignment is required to be split into 4 vehicles of 25 MT each, then how the split consignment will comply with the provisions of Rule 2 i.e. documents to be carried by a person-in-charge of a conveyance.

d. Protecting and ensuring the right to livelihood of self-employed single vehicle owner.

7. Validity of ‘One day’ is prescribed for an e-Way Bill generated for transportation of goods within 100 km; thus the e-Way Bill issued in late hours viz. say at about 10 pm will expire at midnight of the date of issuance because the explanation to Rule 1 (7) is ambiguous as it is in contradiction to the unit of validity period prescribed.

8. It appears that draftsmen of the Draft Rules have not envisaged the quantum of load the GSTN portal would encounter if an unregistered person (individual) causes the movement of goods in his own conveyance, valuing above Rs 50,000, for reasons other than supply, procured from an unregistered person; has to generate e-Way Bill from the common portal. Majority of population will be required to seek registration on portal.

9. The restriction prescribed under Rule 4 (2) for only one physical verification of goods in transit and further verification, if any, is subject to rider prescribed therein is just eyewash, in the light of timeline given to officers for recording the verification and submission of final report in Rule 4 (1). The consignment in transit can become subject to multiple physical verification at different locations for want of on-line recording of first verification.

Further while drafting Rule 5, the modus operandi of revenue officers is overlooked (officers at the first instance take all communication device i.e. phones in their possession) is overlooked.

Thus, though both the Rules 4 & 5 are drafted to portray that GST officers are made accountable but in reality immense harassment to transporters in particular and assesses in general has been provided.

10. Board while proposing the Draft Rules has lost sight to the fact that the GSTN portal would be put to use for the first time from appointed day. We do not doubt the ability of concerned department in designing and testing of common portal, but it appears that Board has not considered the experience of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Income-Tax, IRCTC where it took them about a decade to streamline the operations and more particularly the experience of MVAT Department/MSTD when they introduced structural changes in their return filing and its processing as a step to adopt the GST module from April 1, 2016. In their endeavour to educate dealers they gave live demonstrations of new module but after implementation they took about 6 months to make the system operational.

11. It is pertinent to mention here that we did not object to proposed cumbersome return filing process because professionals are available to make compliance of return filing process but for compliance of formalities of uploading information and generating e-Way Bill the infrastructure and manpower has to be deployed by assessee at his end.

In the light of above submissions we earnestly request you to withdraw the Draft e-Way Bill Rules and save the small traders including MSME in particular and business community in general from the harassment of such tiresome, tedious and repetitive compliance, informs a press release by Sanjay K. Agrawal, Secretary of Steel & Hardware Chamber of Vidarbha.