States should have say in e-way bill, says Kerala finance min

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The state governments should be empowered to decide on implementation of e-way bill based on the nature of the products and the industry, said Kerala finance minister T M Thomas Isaac.

The CPM leader, who is also a GST council member, had an interaction session with representatives of knitwear industrialists in the city on Sunday.

Every manufacturer should generate e-way bill if they want to transport goods worth beyond Rs 50,000 and 10km within the state. In case of the other states, it is mandatory, the minister said.

“The e-way bill can be implemented if the goods would be transported to other states but if it is within state, the respective state governments should be allowed to decide on it based on the nature of products and the industry,” said Thomas.

“In Kerala, we have decided not to implement e-way bill for transporting latex. The job work and sub-contract companies will be severely affected if they were not exempted from e-way bill,” he added.

Commenting on demonetisation and GST, Dr Thomas said, “When GST was implemented, most of the industries welcomed it but the real demands and difficulties faced by micro, small and medium industries were not brought to the notice of the central government. Only the demands of the trade bodies which represent big players were taken into account.”

Implementing GST between many registered export companies, merchandising companies, and unregistered job work/sub contract has been a major problem for them. Even after many months, GST input credit did not reach the companies, which were losing edge in international export competitiveness, he said.

He also cautioned that the central government will likely implement Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with many countries, so that many products including textile products could be imported without taxes from the countries including Bangladesh and Indonesia. The local players will be affected.
All textile-oriented cities including Surat, Ludhiana and Erode, apart from Tirupur are facing similar problems. For all these industry-related problems and demands including the governments’ contribution for improving infrastructure, representatives from textile industries across all those cities should work together on package of demands. And they should collectively put pressure on the central government. Since Lok Sabha polls were around the corner, their demands would be heard, he said.