Number of e-way bills generated in February 2023 falls to a 3-month low

The media reports indicate that the monthly e-way bill generation has dropped to a 3-month low of about 8.18 crores during February 2023. The e-way bills generated for December 2022 and January 2023 stood at 8.41 crores and 8.24 crores.

Even though February has only 2 days less when compared to December or January, the numbers in 2022 suggested a different view. e-Way bills generated in December 2021 stood at 7.16 crores, whereas the numbers fell to 6.88 crores in January 2022. Yet, this number rose to 6.91 crores in February 2022, unlike this year.

A general tendency has been that higher GST collections for a month are parallelly connected to the rising e-way bill numbers of the preceding month. However, some experts deny this view, claiming no direct correlation exists between revenues and e-way bills.

One of the experts pointed out a positive outlook to a media publication stating that the low e-way bill numbers for a month are due to the stringent anti-evasion measures in India by the GST mobile squad. It indicates lower GST collections for March 2023. However, these measures will weed out all the unethical practices in GST in the longer run.

Another expert pointed out to the media publication that internal stock transfers or re-distribution within an organisation are additional reasons to raise e-way bills, but that does not translate into GST revenues for the government. Hence, one cannot directly link the rise in e-way bills to higher GST collections.

There are speculations that the upcoming festive season in March and April 2023 and the year-end closure of books will hike the GST revenue collections through increased consumption and reconciliation of records.

GST collections have been at Rs.1.40-lakh crore or more for every month during the last twelve months between March 2022 and February 2023. Of these, April 2022 witnessed an all-time high collection of Rs.1.68-lakh crore. The second highest collection was more than Rs.1.56-lakh crore in January 2023. The government expects to maintain more than Rs.1.50-lakh crore collections in the coming months.

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