Thousands of trucks were  stranded on highways. Photo: Reuters
Thousands of trucks were stranded on highways. Photo: Reuters

The Indian government has been forced to backtrack on implementation of its electronic waybill (E-way) system after the official portal crashed on its inaugural day. The E-way system goes hand in hand with the country’s goods and services tax (GST), introduced last year, and is intended to track inter-state movement of goods worth more thanRs 50,000 (US$ 779.50). The government will now roll it out in phases.

E-way crashed almost as soon as it was launched, with almost 300,000 bills generated in the first hour. Thousands of trucks found themselves stranded on highways as a result.

The government will now ensure that safeguards are installed for the portal’s smooth operation. Business Standard reports that India’s National Informatics Centre, which is responsible for the system, has asked for 15 days to address glitches.

In January, the Goods and Services Tax Council decided to move forward the introduction of E-way from the original target date of April 1.

Transport and taxation experts say not enough trials were carried out to test the durability of the software and that it was rolled out in too hurried a manner. The botched introduction paves the way for easy tax evasion, they add.