It has been five months since the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, but traders woes have not been resolved yet. In fact, it seems to have gotten ugly as the traders’ body wants the CBI to inquire the teething problems on the GST Network (GSTN). The Confederation of All-India Traders (CAIT) has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), criticising the failure of IT giant Infosys in keeping the GSTN running smoothly.
GSTN working like an experiment project
The traders’ body in a statement said, “Even after four months of GST implementation in the country, the GST Portal which was supposed to function properly from 1st July itself is still working like an experiment project causing much harassment and mental concern to traders across Country.”
“The CAIT has also demanded the government to release a white paper on as on date status of GST portal. The poor functioning of the portal has brought bad name for a good taxation system like GST and utter frustration to the traders who are mostly unable to make GST compliance on account of malfunctioning of the portal,” the statement added.
Government to blame
However, Infosys vehemently denied allegations made by the CAIT as “completely inaccurate” and passed the ball in government’s court. The IT company blamed government’s rapidly changing policies for the glitches. “Given the complex nature of the project and rapid change management, there have been several stakeholder concerns that have also been raised. Some of our finest engineers are supporting the GSTN team as they work towards resolving these and serving all stakeholders,” the company said.
Infosys slow in resolving problems
The story does not end here. The Economic Times reported on November 1 that senior government officials are not happy with the time taken by the company to come with a solution, due to which the government had to extend deadlines for filing returns. Infosys rejected the contention too and said that the company was working hard to fix the issues.
In 2015, Infosys was given a Rs 1,380-crore deal for developing and running GSTN. On October 30, the government extended the last date for filing GSTR-2 and GSTR-3 for the month of July to November 30 and December 11. A week before that the government had waived penalty on the delayed filing of initial GST returns for the months of August and September. As per the data with the GSTN, a huge chunk of businesses file their returns after the expiry of the due date.