After recording all-time high number in March, e-way bill generation dipped to 9.66 crore in April. This could have some impact on Goods and Services Tax (GST) collection number for May, which will be made public on June 1.

Traditionally, March has been recording very high e-way bill generation on account of fiscal year inventory cleaning exercise. However, first year of fiscal year sees lesser movement of goods, and thus affecting e-way bill generation.

In March, 10.35 crore e-way bills were generated and GST collection in April touched an all-time high of ₹2.10-lakh crore. In March last year, e-way bills were 9.09 crore, a record at that time, and collection in April was ₹1.87-lakh crore, all-time high at that time. However, in April last year, e-way bill generation dropped to 8.44 crore and consequently collection in May slipped to ₹1.57-lakh crore.

What is an e-way bill

An e-way bill is an electronic document generated on a portal, evidencing the movement of goods. It also indicates whether tax has been paid for the moving goods. As per Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017, every registered person involved in the movement of goods (which may not necessarily be on account of supply) of consignment value of more than ₹50,000 (can be lower for intra-state movement) is required to generate an e-way bill.

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March was the second month since the introduction of an e-way bill in 2018 when generation has crossed 10 crore in a month. Previous all-time high was in October when 10.03 crore e-way bills were generated. 

In FY24, barring November, e-way bill generation was more than nine crore between August and March. Also, the last seven out of 12 months saw more than nine crore bill generations and two out of these seven months recorded 10 crore plus. 

GST-e-way bill linkage

Experts believe though e-way bills have been long prevalent in the indirect tax space, the linkage with e-invoicing under the GST regime and the moving squads enforcing implementation have resulted in corresponding supplies being brought under the GST net.

The sustained growth in e-way bill generation also points towards the effectiveness of technology-driven scrutiny and compliance mechanisms implemented by regulatory authorities.