Finance minister Arun Jaitley may have given users a grace period for filing their GST returns as they were not fully ready, but it appears the GST Network itself needs some more time to get ready. GSTN floated a tender last week — June 15 — for ‘hiring of agency for user acceptance testing’, reports Sumit Jha in New Delhi. The pre-bid meeting for the tender was on June 21, the last date for submitting technical and financial bids is July 7, and the technical bid will be opened on the same day. No date has been given for opening the financial bid. The testing period is from August 2017 to July 2018, and is to test the system on 15 parameters in real time. These include assessment & adjudication, recovery, refund and data warehousing & predictive analyses. GSTN is expected to receive 300 crore invoices a month. While such testing is a necessary part of any system, the fact that it is being done so late is worrying.
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Last month, as FE reported earlier, GSTN had written to GST Suvidha providers saying that 40% had not even begun sending test APIs. One of the reasons for the delay is in the fact that the GST Council has delayed finalising parameters for the returns — fairly large changes were made on June 3, for instance. Also, final APIs have not been released — at the CII townhall meeting with revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia, one of the requests made was for early release. The GST-R1, the API for the sales register, is to be released on June 29.