‘It’s a Mess,’ Says Kerala FM On E-Way Bill Implementation

Isaac said he is not sure whether IT systems are more prepared now than they were at the beginning of February.

Published
India
2 min read
 The government’s decision to introduce e-way bills has met with skepticism from Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac.
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The government's decision to introduce e-way bills for inter-state transactions from 1 April – its second attempt to do so – has met with skepticism from Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac, who says its a “mess” in the state.

Speaking to BloombergQuint on 26 February, Isaac said he is not sure whether the IT systems are more prepared now than they were at the beginning of February, when the government first attempted to introduce e-way bills. At the time, implementation had to be deferred following multiple reports of IT systems crashing.

You cannot have this national level tax system without the IT backbone, server capacity and so on. I don’t know what’s happening. There’s no way my state government can examine the returns, see whether leakage is taking place, whether IGST can be recorded and so on. Really, it’s a mess here.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac to Bloomberg Quint

He added that he is very much in favor of e-way bills being introduced, but is unclear of the implementation process.

Following a meeting of the Group of Ministers on 24 February, it was announced that e-way bills for inter-state movement of goods would be introduced from 1 April.

E-way bills for intra-state movement of goods would be implemented in a phased manner.

Isaac said that he and several other ministers are looking for an assurance that the system will not fail like the last time. The implementing the e-way bill is also necessary as genuine tax payers continue to suffer, he said.

Every genuine payer who is paying tax is suffering. They find it difficult to compete with traders who don’t pay tax.
Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac to Bloomberg Quint

Implementation of e-way bills would allow states to track transactions better, bringing more traders into the tax ambit.

(The story was originally published on BloombergQuint and has been republished with permission.)

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