Centre cracks down on GST evasions; plans to integrate FASTag with e-way bill

Integrating FASTag with E-way bill

The government is planning to go hard on companies and individuals trying to evade GST through interlinking e-way bills with NHAI’s FASTag mechanism and DMICDC’s Logistics Data Bank (LDB) services. This is supposed to not only help the authorities to check GST evasion but also facilitate faster movement of goods.

“The government is contemplating integration of E-way bill mechanism of GST with FASTag system of National Highway Authority of India. The aspect of Logistic Databank integration with FASTag System is being examined.”

– Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs

The e-way bill system that was introduced as an anti-evasion measure was rolled out in April last year and has since been compulsorily required for the movement of goods worth over INR 50,000 from one state to another.

According to officials, this move will prevent GST evasion by unscrupulous traders who take advantage of the loopholes in the supply chain. On the flip side, there is a visible gap in the ‘track and trace’ mechanism in terms of sharing information among different agencies. This is affecting the ease of doing business in the country as well as adding to the logistics cost for companies.

“The integration of the e-way bill system with FASTag and LDB is expected to help boost tax collections by clamping down on trade that currently happens on cash basis,” an official said.

The GST council has formed a Committee of Officers comprising officers from Central government, State governments, GSTN (Goods and Services Tax Network), NIC (National Informatics Centre), GST Council, to examine the issue of the use of RFID data for the strengthening of E-way bill mechanism under GST.

Sitharaman said, “The representatives of NHAI and NPCI (National Payments Corporation of India) were also co-opted in the committee. The Committee of Officers has submitted its report to the GST Council, recommending integration of FASTag system with E-way bill mechanism.”

In connection of integrating of FASTag with LDB, a committee comprising Central Board and Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), NHAI and its associates, NPCI, GSTN, NIC, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation (DMICDC) and its associates was formed to examine the feasibility of the same. The committee has submitted its report, which is being examined.

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