The imposition of the way bills or e-way bills has raised very serious concern among business and industry owners. According to the policy, the validity of the bill is determined by the distance the goods are to travel. Additionally, any change in the medium of conveyance will require generating a new bill, thus making impromptu decisions in dire situations, unworkable.
“The Indian logistics sector is mainly unorganized, with small transport carriers being the major share of the pie, particularly in small towns where access to the computer and the internet is still a challenge. Added burden of learning to use Goods and Service Tax Network (GSTN) portal or RFID readers is time-consuming and practically implementing while on road can be a daunting task, especially when making spontaneous decisions about conveyances and routes,” said Brijesh Lohia, managing director of Global Ocean Logistics.
Although the new policy is welcomed by the big and organized players, the prerequisite of computer know-how poses a challenge to the small transporters and carriers. Even though the e-way bill seems like a transition from the conventional system of way bills that restrict the moving of goods, the compliance requires the person-in-charge of the conveyance to carry the delivery challan, and a copy of a physical copy of the e-way bill or the e-way bill number, or mapped onto a Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) embedded in the conveyance.
“The entire e-commerce industry is thriving on logistics. Cancellation of orders, while the goods are already in the delivery process, is not a rare incidence. Thus, a strict compliance of validity of the bill is another concern, as the policy has disregarded situations beyond the transporter’s control when moving goods from one destination to another,” Brijesh Lohia added.
In such cases, the e-way generating process requires participation by the supplier, the transporter and even the recipient, which has to communicate its acceptance or rejection of the consignment covered by the e-way bill within the validity.