Government officials disappointed with Infosys over GST troubles

Three top government functionaries are upset with tech giant Infosys over the glitches in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, reported the Economic Times.

According to the newspaper, the government officials had expressed their disappointment over Infosys’ work that according to them led to various extension of deadlines for filing returns.

The report quoted one of the government official as saying, “It has been a disappointing experience”. He further added that the software provider is now expected to improve service delivery.

However, in an email reply to ET, Infosys denied any sentiment regarding its work. It said, “The information you have received is completely inaccurate”.

The government on October 30 again deferred filing of GSTR-2 for July to November 30 from October 31 and GSTR-3 for July to December 11 from November 10. GSTR-2 for July was to be originally filed in August.

GSTR-2 or purchase returns have to be matched with GSTR-1 which is the sales return. The original due date for filing GSTR-2 was October 31, while the last date for filing of GSTR-3, which is a matching form of GSTR-1 and 2, was November 11.

The last date for filing of GSTR-1 for July was October 1. Over 46.54 lakh businesses had filed July GSTR-1 returns.

The extension will facilitate about 30.81 lakh taxpayers for filing GSTR-2 for the month of July, 2017, the finance ministry said.

“While the long-term problem we face is inculcating a culture of tax compliance, the short-term problem is on account of Infosys,” said the official.

Defending itself, Infosys in an email responded that it had been working hard to resolve glitches quickly.

“Given the complex nature of the project and rapid change management, there have been several stakeholder concerns that have also been raised,” Infosys said. “Some of our finest engineers are supporting the GSTN team as they work towards resolving these and serving all stakeholders”, it added.

Earlier this month, IT major Infosys had bagged a five-year, Rs 1,320-crore contract to build GST Network system, which will be used for the roll out of proposed Goods and Services Tax in the country.

GSTN is a company formed to connect databases of states with the Centre and provide information technology (IT) infrastructure for seamless implementation of GST.

The government plans to implement the single rate GST from April 1, 2016, but it might be delayed as the constitution amendment bill for its implementation is yet to be approved by the Rajya Sabha where the ruling party does not enjoy majority on its own.

Earlier, GST Network Chairman Navin Kumar had said that registration on GSTN would start by January 31, to prepare for a smooth roll out by April 2016.