"It does indicate a revival in economic activity to some level. We have witnessed increased vehicular movement from May 18 onwards as the home ministry relaxed the guidelines," said Mahesh Jaising, Partner, Deloitte India.
Generation of e-way bills for the month of May touched 11.4 lakh per day in the last week of the month, taking the daily average for the whole month to 8.2 lakh, almost thrice of the figure generated in April.
Details of e-way bills are issued by a government portal after relevant information is provided, regarding cargo, sender and other inputs.
Though May has seen a rise, the data for the whole month is still only half of February, as the lockdown was lifted only on May 4, the last full month before lockdown. February saw 19.2 lakh of bills being generated on a daily basis.
In April, the total number of e-way bills issued stood at 86 lakh, which comes to 2.9 lakh per day, as against 13.2 lakh in March.
The government announced on April 3, that the validity of e-way bill that expire between March 20 and April 15 would be extended up to April 30, and later to May 31.
E-way bills track cargo movement under the Goods and Services Tax. They give an approximation of inventory movements that indicate wholesalers stocking up on inventory in anticipation of demand.
"It does indicate a revival in economic activity to some level. We have witnessed increased vehicular movement from May 18 onwards as the home ministry relaxed the guidelines and allowed all goods, essential or non-essential, to be moved throughout the country," said Mahesh Jaising, Partner, Deloitte India.
As a fallout of the lockdown, a lot of stock could not be delivered to retail markets, which is why it is being expected that the upcoming weeks could see unloading of perishable stocks in books and clearance of old inventory.
"E-commerce opening up for non-essential goods is also a key contributor to the increased usage of way bills. It should be noted that a large part of this spike is on account of built up demand and may not be reflective of trends for the coming weeks," Jaising said.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here