The shortcomings of Infosys Ltd. which is the service provider for the GSTN portal has been clearly visible via the continually persisting glitches in the GST Network (GSTN) portal. This has led to a lot of difficulty for taxpayers as well as disrupted the efforts of the Indian Government to enable a habit of improved compliance among taxpayers.
Looks like the government have had enough of such technological glitches. The centre has reportedly asked the Indian tech giant Infosys Ltd to fix the glitches of the GST Network portal within a maximum of 15 days worth of time.
On March 5, in a communication, Infosys was told by the ministry that their progress in trying to resolve the challenges being faced by the taxpayers seemed “tardy”. It was also made known to the in the same communication that despite several requests being made to the company the problem and glitches still exist. The problems included slowing down of GSTN portal, login errors and auto-logouts.
Because of all the glitches by the Infosys executives who failed to address the concerns related to the GST platform, the deadline for filing returns had to be delayed by the government.
A person who has been following the development so far and is familiar with it has mentioned that Infosys has been asked by the government to specifically look into glitch which is causing the tax portal’s capacity to be stuck at 1.2 lakh concurrent sessions.
Nandan Nilekani, the Non-Executive Chairman of Infosys has also been reportedly asked to come up with a detailed presentation. The government wants him to give an explanation on the software giant’s failure to fix technical glitches before the federal indirect tax body, GST Council which is scheduled to meet on March 14 next week.
Infosys, including this time, has reportedly declined the offer to comment on this issue twice. The previous instance being earlier in January related to GSTN’s performance.
GSTN: The Way Forward For Increased Tax Compliance?
One of the main reasons the central government is pushing so hard to iron out the glitches in the GSTN platform is because of the fact that this problem has put a halt to the Indian government’s mission to improve tax compliance and eliminate tax evasion. First, a proper and reliable technology system needs to be put in place which can seamlessly collect data and process it without any glitches for this mission to take off and finally turn into a reality. It is the technology system that enables government officials to take enforcement action when a particular suspected case of tax evasion shows multiple red flags.
It has been acknowledged by various government officials that even after it has been two years since the rollout of the online GST platform, it has still not shown any signs of stability in terms of performance and reliability. Several taxpayers have also filed their disappointments related to the platform claiming that the repeated glitches have led them to delay filings well beyond the deadline which has then led to penalties. These complaints from the taxpayers have also led to the Supreme Court recently asking the swift mitigation of the technical difficulties of the platform by the government.