GSTN chairman says many issues on portal sorted, effort on to make it hassle free

Several issues around the GST Network portal have been addressed and efforts are on to make the filing smooth, says Ajay Bhushan Pandey, the network’s chairman

New Delhi: Several issues around the goods and services tax network (GSTN) portal have been addressed and efforts are on to make the filing smooth, the network’s chairman Ajay Bhushan Pandey said.

In an interview to PTI, Pandey said a group of ministers (GoM) headed by Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi reviews the functioning of the GSTN every fortnight to ensure that it is working smoothly. The GoM will meet next on 28 October to review the actions taken to make the filing of GST process smooth.

This will be the third meeting of the GoM since it was constituted in September. “Many of the issues which had arisen prior to the constitution of the GoM, have been addressed. The attention to these issues from government side is from a very high level. The CEO of Infosys personally attends the GoM meeting. The objective is to make the return filing process very smooth,” Pandey said.

He said the GoM in the next meeting will decide on the future course of action with regard to the IT network. “One review is what has been done and the other is what should be done in next two months so people do not face any difficulty. The GoM also looks into feedback from stakeholders, address issues in software system so that the whole system is hassle free,” Pandey said.

GSTN, which has been handling the IT backbone for the new indirect tax regime, has handled over 55 lakh return filings for July and 50 lakh for August. Most of the returns have been filed in the last day of the due date with nearly 80,000 returns being uploaded every hour. Pandey said that 50 lakh businesses filing returns on a single portal is “unparalleled” and such huge rush of return filings may face some problems in the initial months.

“We are now on the improvement side. We would like to go forward with the intent that in next few months issues would get sorted out,” he said. The GST Council, headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state counterparts, had constituted the GoM in September after businesses complained of glitches on the GST portal at the time of filing of first return for July.

“In GoM we are trying to understand the problem of industry, trade business and if there are technical glitches how to remove them. Also taking their feedback if we can make the changes so that the return filing process of smoothened,” Pandey said.