New GST Mechanism Implementation: A Timeline


The recently held 31st GST council meet came up with a decision a new GST return system will be introduced to facilitate taxpayers. To initiate a smooth transition to the newly introduced return system, a transition plan has been laid out. Unveiling a roadmap for the implementation of the new GST mechanism, the Finance Ministry transition plan will come in subsequent phases. Here are the details of the indicative transition plan:


May 2019:

To understand the interface and ease of transition, a prototype of the offline tool has been shared with the taxpayers. While the navigation of both online and offline tools is similar, taxpayers need to be aware that there are three main components to the new return – one main return (FORM GST RET-1) and two annexures (FORM GST ANX-1 (Sales) and FORM GST ANX- (Purchases)).

July to September 2019:

From July 2019, for to get familiarised, users will be able to upload invoices using the FORM GST ANX1 offline tool on trial basis. They can also view and download, the inward supply of invoices using the FORM GST ANX-2 offline tool under the trial program. The summary of inward supply invoices will also be available for view on the common online portal. In addition to this, August onwards, users can easily identify mismatches by importing their purchase register in the offline tool and match it with the downloaded inward supply invoices. July to September will be defined as a trial period for taxpayers. Since this is only to get the taxpayers familiarised with the tool’s interface, their entries would have no impact at the back end on the tax liability or input tax credit of the taxpayer. In this period, taxpayers will continue to file existing return forms (GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B). Taxpayers will be penalised if they fail to file their GST returns on time.

October to November 2019:

October 2019 onwards FORM GSTR-1 will be replaced by FORM GST ANX-1 and will mark the emendation of FORM GST ANX-1. Actions for both large and small taxpayers will be difference in the coming months.

For Large taxpayers, whose aggregate turnover in the previous financial year over Rs 5 crores:

  • They would upload their monthly FORM GST ANX-1 from October 2019 onwards.
  • For October and November 2019, they would continue to file FORM GSTR-3B on monthly basis.
  • They would file their first FORM GST RET-01 for the month of December 2019 by 20th January 2020

For Small Taxpayers with an aggregate of up to Rs 5 crores:

  • The first compulsory quarterly GST ANX-1 will be due only in January 2020, for the October-December 2019 quarter
  • They will stop filing GSTR-3B and start filing GST PMT-08 from October and file their first GST RET-01 for the quarter October-December from January 20, 2020.

While invoices can be uploaded in GST ANX-1 on a continuous basis, both by large and small taxpayers, from October, GST ANX-2 can also be viewed simultaneously during this period but no action will be allowed on it.

January 2020:

From January 2020 onwards, all taxpayers shall be filing FORM GST RET-01 and FORM GSTR-3B shall be completely phased out.

Note: Instructions to file and process the refund applications between October to December 2019 will be notified shortly

Recent Enhancements in E-way Bill


The e-way bill is one of the key areas crucial for the successful implementation and adaption of GST. Therefore, it is no surprise that the government and the GST Council strives to keep making corrections to the e-way bill experience to make it more seamless as the days go by. About a month back, certain enhancements in the e-way bill were made to help businesses and transporters generate the e-way bill with ease.
The enhancements are largely as follows:
• Auto-calculation of distance based on PIN Codes
• Knowing the distance between two PIN codes
• Blocking the generation of multiple e-way bills on one invoice / document
• Extension of e-way bill in case the consignment is in transit / movement
• Report on list of e-way bills about to expire

Auto-calculation of distance based on PIN codes

First, the e-way bill system has been enhanced with auto-calculation of distance between the source and destination, based on the PIN codes. The system will now calculate and display the estimated motorable distance between the supplier and recipient addresses.

Certain points to note here:

  • The user will still be allowed to enter the actual distance as per the movement of goods, but, it will be restricted to up to 10% more than the auto-calculated distance displayed. For e.g., if the system has displayed the distance between Place A and Place B, based on the PIN codes, as 50 KMs, then the user can enter the actual distance covered up to 55KMs (which is 50 KMs + 5 KMs (i.e. 10% of 50))
  • In case the PIN code of both source and destination are the same, the user will be allowed to enter the distance up to a maximum of 100 KMs
  • If the PIN Code entered is incorrect, the system would alert the user with the message “INVALID PIN CODE”. He can continue entering the distance, but such e-waybills will be flagged for review by the department

Knowing the distance between two PIN codes

Another alternative for the business or transporter to know the distance between source and destination is to follow the steps below:

  • Login to the e-way bill portal homepage –
  • Place the cursor on the “Search” tab to view the various options available and select “PIN to PIN Distance”
  • The “PIN to PIN Distance” screen will appear where the user needs to enter “Dispatch From” and “Ship To” PIN codes to show the approximate distance between the two locations
  • The system will show the approximate distance. The calculation of the distance is based on data from various electronic sources, and employs various attributes, such as – road class, direction of travel, average speed, traffic data etc. These attributes are picked up from traffic that is on National highways, state highways, expressways, district highways as well as main roads inside the cities. A proprietary logic is then used for approximating the distance between two postal PIN codes.

Blocking the generation of multiple e-way bills on one Invoice / Document

Based on the representation received from various stakeholders, the government has decided not to permit generation of multiple e-way bills based on one invoice, by any party, be it consignor, consignee or transporter. Which means, if the e-way bill is generated once with a particular invoice number, then none of the parties can generate the e-way bill with the same invoice number. Even if someone tries to generate another e-way bill using the same document number, the system will not allow the same and display an error message. In short, “One Invoice, One E-way bill” policy will be followed.

Extension of e-way bill in case the consignment is in Transit / Movement

Many transporters had proposed to incorporate the provision to extend the e-way bill, when the goods are in transit / movement. To do so, they need to follow the steps below:

  • Login to the e-way bill portal homepage –
  • Navigate to “E-way Bill Module” > “Extend Validity” > Enter the e-way bill number to fill the extension validity form
  • Choose “Yes” for extension for e-way bill, upon which transportation details will appear in Part B of the form
  • Select the position of the consignment as “In Transit” / “In Movement”
    • On selection of “In Movement” the system will prompt the user to select the “Mode” and “Vehicle Details”
    • On selection of “In Transit”, the user needs to select the “Transit Type” i.e. “On Road”, “Warehouse” or “Others” – followed by the address of the transit place
  • In both the scenarios above, the destination PIN will be considered from the Part A of the e-way bill for calculation of the distance for movement and validity date.

Report on list of e-way bills about to expire

Businesses or transporters can now view the list of e-way bills about to expire in a period of 4 days, and thus keep track of expiry dates for each of the consignments generated. For doing this, the user needs to follow the steps below:

User can login to the e-Way Bill portal ( and navigate through the menu as illustrated below to reach the list (Figure-11).

  • Login to the e-way bill portal homepage –
  • Navigate to “Reports” > “My EWB Reports” > “EWB about to Expire”
  • The report will be populated. The user can utilize the report to analyse the data and ensure that that the goods reach the destination within validity time

Watch this space for more such updates on the e-way bill.

MSME Registration: Why it is Crucial for Small, Medium Enterprises in India


The MSME sector plays a significant role in the growth of the Indian economy. Not only does it aim at increasing the overall GDP of the country but also provides an ample number of employment opportunities to those who have a knack to run a business but have limited resources. The MSME entities are defined based on their size of investment made in plant and machinery if they are operating in the manufacturing sector and investment in equipment for service sector companies. In India, MSMEs are also termed as Small-Scale Industries (SSIs) and because of their nature of business and significance in the development of the country, the Central and State Government leave no stone unturned to help them flourish.

Since the MSMEs play such a major in boosting the Indian economy, the Government has a myriad of benefits in store for them once they’re registered under the MSMED Act. They’re often termed as the MSME Registration Benefits. Although it is not necessarily mandatory to register the small-scale industries but to make the most of these benefits, this legal action is essential. Here are some of the key benefits which entrepreneurs can avail with MSME registration:

Continuous Financial Support from The Government and Banks

From subsidised loans with low-interest rates to quick processing of the extra funds, registering a business under the MSMED Act can help the entrepreneurs enjoy a myriad of benefits. A certain kind of preferential treatment is also provided in case of any delays.

Benefits from Central and State Government

Certain schemes launched by Central Government especially for MSMEs registered under MSMED Act help the entrepreneurs grow their business in a better way. MSMEs which register themselves also enjoy several tax exemption benefits which are levied by the State Government. Apart from this, MSMEs get numerous tax benefits like exemption from excise duty as well as exemption from certain direct taxes in the initial years of its business.

Production of Certain Goods/Services Strictly by MSMEs Only

Due to their nature of investment which is primarily on a small-scale, the government has reserved the production of certain products by MSMEs only. With limited budget and resources, it will be hard for the SSIs to survive in a competitive market space, hence the government stores are bound to purchase certain products like wooden furniture, jewellery, pickles, etc from these industries.

No More Delayed Payment Woes

The government aids the MSMEs in getting payments against the buyers on time, While the transaction of goods or services happen between the MSMEs and the buyers, the due date for the payment is usually mentioned on the agreement. And if the MSME is registered under the MSMED Act, the buyer is bound to make the payment on or before the mentioned date. However, if no due date is mentioned, the buyer must initiate the payment 15 days after the acceptance of the goods or the service. No payment should exceed the 45-days period and in case the buyer fails to comply with these regulations, they are penalised with a certain extra amount of money.

Numerous exemptions and financial assistance

MSMEs also gets financial assistance from the government to participate in foreign expos, which further helps in export and import interest of one’s business. Businesses registered under the MSMED Act can also avail 1% exemption on the interest rate on overdraft facilities. However, the OD facility could vary from one financial institution to the other.

Facilities to upgrade technology as per industry standards

Since the financial capital of the MSMEs is low as compared to the other industries, it is hard to stay updated with the latest technology. In order to stay on top of the game, it is crucial for the SSIs to use state-of-the-art technology. Thus, the government ensures that it provides facilities and financial aid to the MSMEs under the Capital Aid for Technological Upgradation Scheme to upgrade the equipment they use.

Concession on Electricity Bills

Businesses registered under the MSMED Act can avail a huge reduction on their electricity bills. Eventually, reducing the fixed cost, entrepreneurs can save a huge amount and invest in areas that will enhance business development.

Types of MSME Registration:

Provisional MSME Registration is granted to MSMEs during the pre-investment period and its benefits include:

  1. Availing of accommodation, land and other approvals.
  2. Getting necessary NOCs (No Objection Certificates) and other clearances from their respective regulatory bodies.

Permanent MSME Registration is granted to an existing unit that is functional and its benefits include:

  1. Exemptions from State and Central government taxes.
  2. Price and purchase preference for goods produced.

Packed with numerous benefits, MSME registration allows the entrepreneurs to enter the market space with large scale industries yet availing small scale business assistance. The documents required to register under the MSMED Act is extremely easy. These are as follows:

  1. Proof of establishment that may be a Sale Deed or a Rent Agreement.
  2. Bank Statement or a cancelled cheque.
  3. Aadhar card of the authorized person.
  4. PAN card of the authorized person.

In case an entrepreneur does not have a valid Aadhaar ID, they can apply for the same and in the meantime, till their Aadhaar card arrives, on behalf of the enterprise, the MSME-DI or DIC shall fill the Udyog Aadhaar Registration (UAR). As an alternative, these documents would be required to submit by the entrepreneur:

  1. Aadhaar enrolment ID slip; if they have enrolled.
  2. A copy of the request made for Aadhar enrolment.
  3. Any of the following; bank photo passbook, voter ID, passport, driving license, PAN card, employee photo ID card issued by the Government.

Best E-commerce Practices for Small Businesses for Organisational Growth


Entering the world of business means that the entrepreneur must be well-prepared for future outcomes including the major risk factors. With the economy evolving rapidly, it is crucial to understand the market which your business caters to so that it can withstand the hurdles and emerge out successfully. Before you start your association with your consumers and come face-to-face with your competitors, there are a few significant factors to keep in mind that will foster natural and long-lasting growth. Like they say, there’s a new lesson every day when it comes to managing a business, we have tried to cite the best e-commerce practices for SMEs that will trigger growth and positive outcomes for your business:

Be mobile-friendly

Every business’ first step is to reach out to the customers with ease, and what’s better than having a great website to connect with them? While creating a website has become cakewalk in today’s era, with the advancement of various tools which are available at the snap of a finger, it’s important that the website is mobile-friendly too. Responsive design for a website would do wonders to your business as it will be user-friendly irrespective of the device the user is accessing the information from.

Connect with every potential customer

While every business tries its level best to retain their existing customers, it is extremely important to gage new customers as well. This will further yield in the growth of the business and add more authenticity to its core value. The best way to reach out to a new visitor is to give them a way to stay in touch with a call to action. This can be an email sign-up page, such as a pop-up that welcomes the visitor and gives them information on how to stay in touch.

Follow up on the abandoned shopping carts

If your business model is online retail, it is vital to keep a track of each customer who comes on to your page. While some might come with a motive to buy something, some might just be scrolling through. Often a user who has come just to brush through the website ends up finding something that might suit their needs, but just leave the website after adding the item in the shopping cart. In such cases, help move things along by reminding shoppers about their abandoned carts. You can add an automatic feature on your website that reminds customers via email about their forgotten cart with these reminder tools.

Make your website as interactive as possible

There’s nothing as boring as a mundane website. Any user who comes to your website must get the impression of your business by the look and appearance of it, thus, make sure that your webpage speaks for your business. Adding images and crisp visuals to your website home page, product pages, blogs, and more can really capture a visitor’s interest as well as make a sale more likely.

Avoid jargon on the website

For every business, the thumb rule is “Content is King”. When creating a marketing strategy of the business, the message which is to be conveyed to the customer needs to be in layman terms. Usage of technical words and jargon would often lead to miscommunication, which will result in the consumer getting ticked off as it might test their power of knowledge. Now that is something that no business wants. Thus, always aim for a simplistic approach to convey your message to your customers.

Send weekly updates about the business and the industry

One of the best ways to stay connected with your customers is by constantly updating them about your business. By sending newsletters and weekly updates about what’s happening in the business front along with the market news, the customers will not feel dark, lost and disconnected. This will trigger them to interact with us on an everyday basis and answer any possible questions before they even ask them out loud.

Have a strong social media presence

The world has gone social and that’s no news. Unless you have been living under a rock, the concept of social media is not unknown to you. From celebrities to start-ups to big organisations, everyone is on social media in order to stay updated with the market trends and be aware of their surroundings. Like various functions in a business setup, just staying on social media isn’t enough, but to make the most of it, one has to maintain an active account on the portals. There are many options to choose from in terms of which platform will be the most lucrative for your business. But, you don’t need to limit yourself to one platform, if you can showcase your brand successfully on multiple platforms – do it.

Stay updated with the latest technology

Automation plays a crucial part in improving your business standards. Thus, it is extremely important to stay updated with the latest technology and hire personnel who would provide expertise in adding more value to your current business. Cyber-attacks are constantly getting coverage lately with breaches in data and cybersecurity. It’s important to install regular software updates, alleviating possible breaches and staying up-to-date on current technology security trends.

MSME Funding: Nine schemes which will give wings to women entrepreneurs


With gender equality becoming more and more vital around the world, the MSME ministry chose to empower women even more 1.38 lakh projects have been set up by the women entrepreneurs under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) Scheme since inception up till 23/01/2019.

The projects set up by women entrepreneurs are about 30 per cent of total projects set up under PMEGP. Despite having limited resources and lesser opportunities, women entrepreneurs from rural areas have shown immense potential to add value to the Indian economy by entering the MSME sector.

According to a data by Startup India, while only 13.76 per cent of the total entrepreneurs in India are women which is close to merely 8 million as opposed to male entrepreneurs who just crossed a whopping 50 million mark, these financial schemes launched at the State and Central level could do a great deal in boosting women entrepreneurship. While researching for these schemes, we got in touch with a couple of women entrepreneurs to find out how they benefitted from these government schemes.

It was quite unfortunate, that most of these talented women entrepreneurs had little/no idea about these schemes. However, there were a few women who stepped out of their cages and chose to make the most of these schemes and become economically independent. So, if you’re a woman and have a knack for running a business, this article will give you an insight as to how these government initiatives could help you build your own enterprise.

Mudra Yojana Scheme

This is a general government scheme for women who want to kickstart their entrepreneurial journey on a small scale such as, beauty parlour, tuition centre, tailoring unit, etc. The scheme also caters to a group of women who wish to collaborate and start a business. Loans from Rs 50,000 onwards and up to Rs 50 lakh are sanctioned under this scheme. For loan amount exceeding Rs 10 lakhs, collateral and guarantors are required. The three plans under this scheme are: Shishu plan (loans up to Rs 50,000 for new businesses), Kishor plan (loans between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh for well-established enterprises), and Tarun plan (loans between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for business expansion).

TREAD (Trade-Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development) Scheme

To run any business successfully, one needs a certain amount of expertise which would further help in building the enterprise in a better way to compete in the market. To achieve this crucial step, PMEGP’s initiated this scheme called TREAD, which aims at empowering women by providing credit to projects, conducting specific training and counselling, and disseminate knowledge for their business. The scheme provides for a government grant of up to 30% of the total project cost as appraised by lending institutions. These institutions would finance the other 70%.

Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme

Initiated primarily to offer financial assistance up to Rs 10 lakhs, to small-scale business models, this scheme aims to help women set up new projects and promotes upgrading and modernisation of existing projects. With interest rates varying according to the market rates, the loans are to be repaid within 10 years, and this includes a five-year moratorium period.

Annapurna Scheme

As the name suggests, this scheme is especially for the hidden chefs inside women. Even a hobby as amazing as cooking can now make you an entrepreneur with the Annapurna Scheme. To start a catering unit, women can avail loan up to Rs 50,000 to purchase kitchen equipment such as utensils and water filters. Collateral in the form of assets and a guarantor is required to avail this scheme and the loan must be repaid within the span of 3 years. Women who avail this loan also get a grace period of one month before the repayment process starts. Interest rates under this scheme vary as per market rates and assets will be taken as collateral by the concerned bank.

Stree Shakti Package for Women Entrepreneurs

To avail loan under this scheme, women need to be enrolled in the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP) in their respective state agency. They also would need to have majority ownership (over 50%) in a small business. Under the scheme, an interest concession of 0.05 per cent can be availed on loans above Rs 2 lakh.

Bhartiya Mahila Business Bank Loan

Bhartiya Mahila Business Bank Loan’s focus is to provide financial assistance to underprivileged women. Women under this scheme can avail loan up to Rs 20 crores which are to be repaid in seven years. Under the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises, there is no need for collateral for loans up to Rs 1 crore. The base rate of interest on this loan is 10.25% to which an additional 2% is added, making the rate of interest 12.25%.

In an inspiring story mentioned in, Nirmala Devi became financially independent by receiving a loan of Rs 25,000 from Bharatiya Mahila Bank to set up a shop in Aant village. Similarly, the bank also disbursed Rs 5 lakh to a women entrepreneur in Gujarat to make chocolate bouquets.

Dena Shakti Scheme

Women entrepreneurs who are involved in agriculture, manufacturing, micro-credit, retail stores or similar enterprises can avail loan under this scheme. Under the micro-credit category, loans offered are up to Rs 50,000 with a concession of 0.25% on the rate of interest. Loans of up to Rs 20 Lakhs are sanctioned under the category of education, housing and retail trading.

Cent Kalyani Scheme

Women business owners who manage MSMEs or are involved in agricultural work or engage in retail trading can avail loan under this scheme. Loans up to Rs 1 crore are sanctioned and no collateral or guarantors are required with interest rates depending on the market. Another advantage of availing loan under this scheme is that there is no processing fee for businesswomen.

Udyogini Scheme

Women entrepreneurs involved in agriculture, retail and similar small businesses between the ages 18-45, whose family’s annual income is less than Rs 45,000 are eligible to avail up to Rs 1 Lakh. The main advantage of the Udyogini Scheme is low-interest rates on business loans and no income limit for widowed, destitute or differently-abled women and a subsidy of 30% of the loan, or Rs 10,000 (whichever is lower) is provided for them. Similar is the case for women falling under the SC/ST category as well. For women who belong to the general category, a subsidy of 20% of the loan or Rs 7500 (whichever is lower) is provided.

So, ladies, why wait any longer to showcase your entrepreneurial tactics to the world? Go ahead and make the most of these government schemes introduced just for you and make a difference in the world of business.

How the startup culture is impacting the Indian economy


The startup culture has taken the business world by storm. Not only are these young companies with big dreamers openly welcoming “skilled” individuals more than “qualified” but are also playing a vital role in building the economy of the country. India needs 10 million jobs a year and global data shows that it is startups, not large enterprises that create net new jobs in any country. Nearly 3000 startups joined the Indian startup ecosystem in 2018, and the culture only seems to be growing each day.
While there are numerous prodigies, who are choosing to quit their mundane jobs which demand them to be available 9am to 5pm and turn their dreams into realities, others are marking second (or even third) coming, leaving no stone unturned to outdo their last best product or service in the sector.

Startups in the country have been able to create an estimated 40,000 new jobs over the year, taking the total jobs in the startup ecosystem to 1.6-1.7 lakh, the report assessed. Besides, another 4-5 lakh indirect jobs are estimated to have been created.
With such young minds leading the entrepreneurial sector, it is obvious how technology has played a major role in shaping the startup design nationwide. The technology delivery for every company varied according to its respective business models, which only helped companies expand their horizon to newer opportunities, which, in turn, affected the growth of the business. Thus, it is established that start-ups entrepreneurship is crucial because it brings innovations, new jobs and competitive dynamics into the business environment. One of the advantages which startups have over well-established organisations is that there is a lot of scope of trial-and-error. Since there aren’t several stakeholders involved, and the board wouldn’t need to comply with every word stakeholders have to say, the companies can test different possible business models and eventually choose what works and suits their needs the best.
Since the decision-making process is not cumbersome, the startup environment is adaptable to changes, which ultimately leads to maximising profits by innovation. This induces backward and forward linkages which stimulate the process of economic development in the country. With India’s startup culture taking the world by storm, several developing nations are now considering our country as case studies, in order to incorporate these innovations and technology-enabled startups in their geographies. In fact, In recent years, different countries are taking different initiatives to link up their businesses with the Indian startups in almost all sectors including defence. Such a joint venture can attract the huge foreign fund which can boost the country’s growth.
Native startups will not only make the lives of the people easier through their affordable and convenient services but will also act as a major booster for the development and the progress of the Indian economy.