Transporters’ body All India Transporters’ Welfare Association (AITWA) yesterday released a press note demanding abolishment of the new rules for the E-way Bill introduced by the government.
As per the new rules, E-Way bill validity has changed from 1 day per 200 kms instead of 100 kms earlier permitted, w.e.f January 1, 2021.
AITWA has voiced its disapproval over the change in the E-Way bill validity, stating that the GST Council had taken this decision without consulting any transport association, which was done to reduce the malpractices of repeated usage of same e-way bill noticed by them in certain states/industries.
In the press note, AITWA listed down chief reasons why the E-Way bill was not practicable, which addressed how the E-Way Bill can expire while in the booking godown or transit, including cases when the part load material lies at transshipment centre or destination godown for several days and the E-way bill expires or when the vehicle breaks down en route and the driver doesn’t inform and even in unfortunate accidents.
In situations where vehicles take longer time, be it going to hilly regions like the Northeastern region or agitations, road blocks, weather conditions or the driver dropping by his homeown without informing transporters, the E-way bill expires.
The association believes that the bill will violate the human rights of a truck driver, as the act “treats a driver like a bonded labourer”.
It also raised the point that a driver under compulsion will be more fatigued and hence will be more likely to cause accidents.
AITWA also stated that the e-Bill goes against the Tranport Industry’s Hub and Spoke model and hence does not understand the Business model.
“Transport Industry follows Hub and Spoke method,in which goods booked at different locations are moved to a central city. E-way Bill measures distance from oint to point and does not allow deviation of root”, it said.
As goods can remain in the Intermediate hub for days in wait of enough quantity required to fill a vehicle, the E-way Bill clock, however, does not stop moving when goods are not moving, it underlines.
The association termed the penalties under the E-Way Bill “Draconian”, for, should the E-way bill expire during transit and if the consignor/consignee does not come forward to deal with GST officer, then the transporter is liable to pay the full GST amount and the full value of goods before GST, AITWA highlighted.