For two months, the Punjab government has put off the introduction of the e-way bill system for the intra-state movement of goods. This has brought respite to manufacturers and businesses whose sales are confined to the state.

The Excise and Taxation Department has issued a notification in this connection. It says, “No e-way bill will be generated for two months starting from February 1 for intra-state supply of goods, provided goods do not cross the state’s boundary during transit.

”Under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, all goods or consignments worth more than Rs 50,000 moving over 10 km from their origin will require prior registration and generation of an e-way bill through the GST network.The system is likely to help tax authorities keep track of all taxable goods and detect potential tax evasion.Businessmen in the state sought deferment of the e-way bill system for intra-state transactions, citing lack of trained manpower.

A senior official in the department said the decision had been taken after a meeting with the industry as the government wanted to give more time to businessmen to be prepared for the new system.

Amritsar-based shawl manufacturer Piara Lal Seth said, “This is a welcome step by the government as the industry is not prepared. The e-way bill system would have disrupted the business environment. For example, the industry in Amritsar sent goods to Jalandhar and Ludhiana for job work this month and e-bill has not been generated for the purpose.

If the e-way bill system had been implemented from February 1, many of the industrialists would have been in trouble. The two-month window is a blessing in disguise for us as it will help us prepare.”The system facilitates the faster movement of goods and also save businessmen from paperwork.

Punjab, Maharashtra has also deferred the e-way bill regime from February 1 to May 1 for movement of goods within the state.

West Bengal has also decided to defer the launch of the system till June 1 so that stakeholders and transporters get time to adjust to the new system.

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