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An increase in electronic bills for transporting goods nationwide as well as higher goods and services tax (GST) receipts collections in September were “affirmative signs of an economic recovery," said finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey.

The year-on-year growth of 4% in GST receipts to 95,480 crore last month is a signal that an economic recovery is on track, Pandey said in a statement late Thursday. “With the festive season coming in the next month, we are much confident of a better recovery in GST collections."

E-way bills, or electronic permits, for transportation of goods, too, witnessed record growth. In September, over 57.4 million e-way bills were generated, nearly matching the 57.1 million e-way bills in February, prior to the lockdown, showed data available with GST Network, which provides technology support for administering GST.

India had in March implemented a stringent nationwide lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of covid-19, bringing goods movement to a complete halt and disrupting trade.

E-way bills are required for transporting goods of over 50,000 value both for intra- and inter-state supply. This allows officials to keep a tab on transactions without physical interference in the movement of goods.

Meanwhile, Wednesday saw a sudden spike in e-way bill generation. “On 30 September, almost 26.19 lakh e-way bills were generated which is the highest ever count so far in a single day. This is the third day this year when e-way bills have been generated to mark a record count. Before this, on 29 February, 25.19 lakh e-way bills were generated, while on 31 January, around 24.74 lakh e-way bills were generated," Pandey said.

The number of e-way bills issued in September was 9.3% more than the year-earlier.

Pandey said some major industrial states have shown “very positive" growth percentage in GST collections, an indication of the economic recovery being on track.

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