🙏E-way bill generation dipped to 3-month low in February, GST collection may be impacted in March – The Hindu BusinessLine– 8.3.23

Clipped from: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/economy/e-way-bill-generation-dipped-to-3-month-low-in-feb-gst-collection-may-be-impacted-in-march/article66591701.ece

Some experts do not see co-relation between e-way bill generation and revenue collection

E-way bill is an electronic document generated on a portal evidencing movement of goods. | Photo Credit: Kesavan A N@Chennai

E-way bill generation in February dropped to a three-month low of over 8.18 crore. It was over 8.24 crore and 8.41 crore in January and December.

Technically, data for February are for 28 days while preceding two (January and December) months’ total numbers are for 31 days. However, during fiscal year 2021-22, number of e-way bill generated in December was 7.16 crore which dropped to 6.88 crore in January but rose to 6.91 crore in February.

An indication

E-way bill generation of a month gives an indication about GST collection in next month. This means, lesser number of e-way bills in February may end in lower collection. However, some experts say e-way bill generation is not directly linked to revenue collection.

Significant reasons for higher collections are the streamlined year-end compliances and the authorities’ stringent regulations.

E-way bill is an electronic document generated on a portal evidencing movement of goods. As per Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017, every registered person who causes movement of goods (which may not necessarily be on account of supply) of consignment value more than ₹50,000 is required to generate the e-way bill. This needs to be generated by the consignor or consignee himself if the transportation is being done in own/hired conveyance or by railways by air or by vessel.

According to Prateek Bansal, Tax Partner with White and Brief, Advocates & Solicitors, looking at the positive side, decline in e-way bills generation appears to be testament of the stricter anti-evasion measures adopted by the GST mobile squad officials across the country. “While the lesser generation of e-way bills suggest that GST collection for March 2023 may see a downward trend, such reduction may prove to be beneficial in the long-run as the unscrupulous activities would be weeded out,” he said.

Sanjay Chhabria, Director at Nexdigm (a business advisory), says e-way bill is an ancillary activity that determines the movement of goods, but the number of such permits raised in a particular period cannot be linked directly to the revenue collections, as instances like internal stock distribution or re-distribution within a company will need e-way bills but may not translate into revenue collections.

Festival push

However, having said that, “with the upcoming festivities in March and April, we could once again witness a hike in the consumption of goods which in turn should contribute to the high manufacturing growth,” he said.

GST collection, during 12-month period of March 2022 and February 2023, has been ₹1.40-lakh crore or more every month. In fact, April 2022 saw all time high collection of ₹1.68-lakh crore while second highest collection was ₹1.56-lakh crore plus in January this year. Now, the government expect over ₹1.50-lakh crore plus in coming months.

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